THE EUGENE O'NEILL SOCIETY SECTION: MEETINGS PAST AND FUTURE
1. BY-LAWS AMENDED AT 1982 MEETING.
The Fourth Annual Meeting of the Eugene O'Neill Society was held on December 28, 1982, during the Modern Language Association convention in Los Angeles. Because of the site, the meeting, like the convention, was sparsely attended. The major business of the attenders was the adoption of two amendments to the Society's By-Laws, which follow, and which members should insert in their copies of the by-laws. (Society Secretary Jordan Miller will be pleased to send a copy of the complete by-laws to any member requesting one.)
Section III.1: Terms of Membership
Section VIII:1: Election of Officers and Directors
II. O'NEILL SESSION AT MLA '82.
Also on December 28, at the aforementioned Modern Language Association convention, an event organized and "unofficially" sponsored by the Society was featured: a special session on "O'Neill and Film," led by Eugene K. Hanson of the College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA. It is fortunate, since L.A. drew far fewer attenders than is usually the case at MLA, that two of the three papers written for that session can now be shared with a larger "audience" in the pages of the Newsletter. Those papers, by Linda Ben-Zvi and William L. Sipple, begin on pages 3 and 10 of this issue, and the editor is grateful to the authors and Professor Hanson for (respectively) permitting and arranging for their publication. (Actually, the first paper will now have its first audience, as Professor Ben-Zvi was prevented by a Colorado snow storm from reaching Los Angeles!)
The third paper, by Professor Vera Jiji, was not revised in time for this issue. Her talk, entitled "O'Neill and TV," considered the problems inherent in the "translation" of any stage work to the television medium such problems as the smallness of the screen, which eliminates the "larger than life" quality of theatrical performance, and the removal of any audience choice in what to watch, since the entire stage picture is omitted and we therefore lose, for instance, the significant facial reactions of listeners in a given scene; the corresponding virtues of television performance, such as its superiority over theatre in its ability to concentrate, up close, on the human face; and the virtues and flaws in three small-screen adaptations of work by O'Neill—The Iceman Cometh (1960), A Touch of the Poet (1974), and Mourning Becomes Electra (1978). She found Electra a decidedly diminished thing, not so much because of the inadequacies in Roberta Maxwell's portrayal of Lavinia, but because the play's "transcendent level" was entirely lost, leaving little besides (in tv parlance) "soap." But the 1960 Iceman, as a record of Jason Robards' searing last-act confession, won her total praise:
Television performances of great drama, she concluded, are worthwhile, despite inevitable drawbacks, because they can inspire new attenders of real theatre, because they can provide the bases for comparison with other performances of the same work, and because, as in the case of Robards' Hickey, they provide valuable documentation for posterity of the great players of our day.
III. O'NEILL SESSION AT MLA '83.
"Reevaluating O'Neill: New Approaches, New Discoveries" is the title of a special session on O'Neill that will be chaired by Professor Michael Hinden at the MLA convention in New York City next December (shortly after Christmas, at a date and hour to be announced in a future issue). Three papers will be featured:
For copies of the papers, write to the panelists after November 15. And plan to attend both this session and the Society's Fifth Annual Meeting, which will probably be held shortly before or after it. On this too, fuller information will be provided in a future issue.
© Copyright 1999-2007 eOneill.com