Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


University of Wollongong, Department of Philosophy


This thesis argues that the Italian Nobel Prize winning author, Luigi Pirandello, far from being merely a rather cerebral writer with a philosophical bent, as he has been called by many of his critics, should in fact be recognised to occupy a place within what is often referred to as the field of Contemporary Continental Philosophy, as a "pre-existentialist" or an existentialist

avant la lettre.

The idea of so categorising him is not new, but no systematic examination of the entire corpus of his works has ever been attempted from a purely philosophical point of view in order to draw from them a coherent and comprehenisive philosophy. In the field of philosophy, at least in the Anglo-Saxon world, Luigi Pirandello remains unstudied.

This thesis deals with such existentialist themes as freedom, responsibility, anguish, the absurd, bad faith, the nature of reality, the self and the relation of the self to others. Pirandello's views in these areas are compared with those of the recognised existentialist philosophers, Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus, in order to attempt to prove a similarity great enough to enable Luigi Pirandello to be classed as an existentialist avant la lettre.



Unless otherwise indicated, the views expressed in this thesis are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Wollongong.