Maschere del genio fra Pirandello, Ugo Fleres, Capuana, Livia De Stefani
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In an article titled Sincerità (Ariel, 1898) Pirandello criticizes the artistic simulation, particularly the theft of other authors’ motifs and ideas. On the same topic Pirandello’s friend Ugo Fleres writes a novel, L’Anello (1898): the mediocre Ottavio Gandolfi attributes himself the authorship of a died composer’s genial opera, but he can’t repeat its success and gets mad, nullifying himself in the musician’s ghost. The simulation assumes therefore a hermeneutical function, revealing to the protagonist his limits; at the same time the attemps made by Ottavio for avoiding the fiction determine new creative ways, based on the re-use of the existing; so the motif of the counterfeit takes in the novel a very important meaning, anticipating the contemporary artistic forms. The novel mirrors the crisis of the arts in the Twentieth Century commercialized society, and the efforts to find new expressive modalities. After a few years Luigi Capuana, in the short story Il sogno di un musicista (1901), redefines the above mentioned motif telling the story of a composer obsessed by an otherworldly music, unduly ‘stolen’ for playing it in the surface world; the plot, parodized by Livia De Stefani in the Sixties with the brief tale Un antenato di qualità (1963) , shows the marginalization of the ‘sublime’ art in modern times, since the loss of the ‘aura’ of any cultural product has become apparent.