Friday, October 16, 2009
EUGENE O'NEILL b OCTOBER 16 1888
Dying words: "I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room, and God damn it, died in a hotel room."
another one of the american greats whose works really compelled me to read every bit of it, even the one-acts. powerfully imaginative early on but somewhat confused, he really hit his stride w/the last plays about his family. there, working in various american vernaculars, he wrestled w/his demons & showed just where the american nuclear family was truly tragic & doomed. his work READ beautifully but i've never seen it actually work on stage. there, all those beautiful tormented words just seem to swamp the actors, leaving them buried in the verbal excess. in high school, i hadn't thought tennessee williams held a candle to o'neill but when i saw his works on stage, they came alive in ways that o'neill never did. that discernable difference taught me my first real lesson about theater.