November 19, 2011
Eric Bentley, "Introduction", in Luigi Pirandello, Six Characters in Search of an Author (Intro, 1952; Signet Classics, 1980).
"Above all, Six Characters was not experimental. No first-rate art is. Experiments belong to science: The scientist decides on a hypothesis and then tests it, knowing that many tests will fail, but that he might make a breakthrough someday. That is not how artists work, and the 'experimental forms' of, say Conrad or Faulkner are really quite unexperimental: They evolved from the authors' original sense of narrative. And so, while Six Characters was something that came to his mind quickly, as in a vision, Pirandello had been working toward it for years . . . (ix).