Serafino is a typical Pirandellian anti-hero, a spectator rather than a participant in the tragi-comedy of human existence. Indeed he has the perfect job for it, that of a film cameraman. Serafino is an observer, an impersonal tool of a new industry based on make-believe. All he has to do is turn the handle of his camera and watch. He has no part in what is going on and is so removed from life that the mauling of an actor by a tiger cannot deflect him from filming the action. The Notebooks of Serafino Gubbio is set in Rome circa 1915, partly on a film set, partly in the city.