All about Arthur Miller…

I’m in the midst of reading Martin Gottfried’s Arthur Miller:  His Life and Work.

Having acted in The Crucible and long admired Death of a Salesman and somewhat less All My Sons, though I’ve been remiss in reading his other plays (must rectify that!), it’s a sheer joy to track the life of the young Art Miller, his early discouragements and determination always.

Then to see All My Sons catch fire, give him international acclaim and enough money to breathe more freely, what a relief for the readers of this book as well.

And then came Death of a Salesman, a reinvention of the modern theatre.  (You must see the Lee J. Cobb 1966 DVD revival, with much of the original cast, on DVD.)

Now this is an inspiration for all writers.  To trust to one’s boldness of vision, as Miller did in the forties. 

Elia Kazan had him remove all the dream/past sequences in the early going, then saw that they were essential and that, given a proper mounting, audiences are not in the least confused by it all.

Reinvention reigneth!

Robert Devereaux

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