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"As Ever, Gene"

Roberts, Nancy L. and Roberts, Arthur W. (eds)
Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1987
First edition, with dust jacket

    NOTES:  The letters of O'Neill to George Jean Nathan.
From C. E. Rollyson - Choice  
As John R. Finnegan Jr. points out in a helpful foreword, theater critics like Nathan were crucial in molding the tastes of maturing middle-class audiences with a new appetite for serious drama. O'Neill worked hard to impress Nathan and consequently revealed to the critic many intimate details about the composition of his plays. O'Neill's letters provide glimpses of his efforts to turn the American stage away from what Nathan called 'trick melodramas, fussy farces, mod mush, leg shows.' Nancy and Arthur Roberts carefully annotate the letters and supply helpful introductions to each phase of O'Neill's career. Several photographs reveal the different personalities of the morose playwright and the genial critic.
From Library Journal  
From first (1919) to last (1949), these progressively intimate letters to the influential drama critic represent the span of O'Neill's playwriting career. They show that he relied on Nathan, first, to help publicize his career; later, to inform him of Broadway news; and always to read his manuscripts with an educated, discerning eye. Essentially shoptalk, they reveal O'Neill's frustration over commercial detail and debilitating illness, and the agonies of writing and rewriting plays that helped establish a serious American drama. For collections emphasizing serious literature. Charles C. Nash, English Dept., Cottey Coll., Nevada, Mo.

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