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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. IX, No. 2
Summer-Fall, 1985



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Marshall Brooks' pen and ink drawing for the 1986 O'Neill conference poster.

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This, the twenty-sixth issue of the Newsletter, is the first to be composed on a word processor, as the publication and its Luddite editor are joltingly wrenched into the world of mid-twentieth-century technology--without, I hope, any excessive jolts to readers' sensibilities. The resultant "justification" of right-hand margins is surely an aesthetic plus, except when accompanied by the minus of lines whose second halves abound in palmless interword oases so the appointed margin can be reached by equipment that will not hyphenate without express instruction. I have inserted a few hyphens, when the spacing became so extremely wide that it would detract from comprehension, and have tried to move some spaces to the left halves of lines; but I fear that, along with the temporary absence of italics, some problems will have to be overcome before our growing pains cease to show. However, the freedom we have now gained from our former method of cut-and-paste error correction is well worth these few accompanying dilemmas; and I am most grateful to my colleague Stuart Millner and staff members Mary Bramante and Juan Diaz for making the transition such an exciting and exhilarating experience. It is to them, rather than to Ned Lud, that I dedicate this issue.

And a rich issue it is, despite the paucity of pictures and comparative brevity of the news section. Pictures come from contributors, and none have arrived since the last issue, which appeared so late that there has been little news in the interim. But when it includes word of a new production of The Iceman Cometh, reuniting the director and star of the legendary 1956 production at the Circle in the Square, one can at least say that the news there is, is good indeed! And no apology need be made for the seven essays that comprise the bulk of this issue--four on specific plays, and three more general. The latter picture O'Neill as a national playwright who profited from his sojourn in the West and found a worthy repository for his books, manuscripts and diaries at Yale. And the former suggest rightly that not all has yet been said about O'Neill's plays in terms of influences (Jenckes), analogues (Cardullo), structure (Adler) and characterization (Waterstradt). My thanks to the seven authors for choosing the Newsletter as a vehicle for sharing their insights with O'Neillians around the world.

Since three of the essays concern later plays, this seems an appropriate time to announce the dates of the conference on "Eugene O'Neill--the Later Years" that will be held at Suffolk University in mid-1986. The four-day event will begin on Thursday, May 29, with an all-day series of meetings at which invited O'Neillians, both scholarly and theatrical, who are currently engaged in work on the man and his plays, can compare notes and share insights and plans in preparation for the O'Neill centennial in 1988. (The number of active participants on Thursday will be limited to twenty-five, but there will be room for a small number of spectators as well. Anyone who feels qualified by his or her current work to be a participant, or who would like to apply for a spectator slot, should contact the editor as quickly as possible. This is worth doing, as the editor is unaware of all the projects that are currently under way.) The full conference, open to the general public, will begin with a cocktail hour, banquet and keynote address on Thursday evening, perhaps followed by a screen presentation. (If they are available, the kinescope of the 1960 television Iceman Cometh and the new 2 1/2-hour PBS docudrama on O'Neill, directed by Perry Miller Adato, will be included in the conference roster.) The daytime hours of Friday and Saturday, May 30 and 31, and the morning of Sunday, June 1, will be devoted to paper sessions, panel discussions (including a report on the results of the Thursday meetings) and films; with Friday and Saturday nights reserved for two performances of an all-star evening of scenes from O'Neill's later plays. (As planning is still in the preliminary stages, the "all-star" designation is a bit premature, but we are hopeful.) And the conference will end, like its 1984 predecessor, with a farewell brunch at noon on Sunday. Fuller information and a preregistration form will appear in the next issue, but all who wish to participate, in whatever capacity, are urged to contact the editor as soon as possible. The price will be considerably heftier than last time, but we will make every effort to ensure that the conference provides a smashing kickoff for the centennial activities that will follow.

Brother Compaq says that my allotted space has been filled, so I will hastily conclude with best wishes and the hope that the pages to follow offer something of interest for all lovers of O'Neill. Next time, if you send some, there'll be pictures too!

The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Vol. IX, No. 2. ISSN: 0733-0456. Copyright (c) 1985 by the Eugene O'Neill Newsletter. Copyright 2011 by Harley J. Hammerman. Editor: Frederick C. Wilkins. Assoc. Editor: Marshall Brooks. Subscriptions: $10/year for individuals in U.S. & Canada, $15/year for libraries, institutions and all overseas subscribers. Only one-year subscriptions are accepted. Members of the Eugene O'Neill Society receive subscriptions as part of their annual dues. Back issues available @ $5 each. Address: The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Department of English, Suffolk University, Boston, MA 02114 U.S.A.


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