Although the essays collected in this book present a variety of themes and were written from 1944 to 2000, many of them deal with a comparison between the context of a specific event in the past and its meaning today.
This can be especially noticed in the essays dedicated to his plays — “ in History.” These essays have in common the author’s emphasis on the impact of the past upon the present that has not dissolved, but somehow kept its trace and mark on present times.
Early misgivings about Broadway have turned to full-fledged lamentations by the time of the 1985 Roudané interview, and even though New York has generally treated Miller with respect, , and so it doesn’t really matter that there were fifty-two German productions of Miller plays in one recent year (just where did I read that Hitler’s Germans might not have proved quite so villainous had they had some Disney with their Goethe and Schiller? What stays with me after all the wisdom and the heartache and the chuckles is admiration for Miller’s sense of the ending.
The man who closes the 1959 “On Adaptations” by: “The integrity of a masterpiece is at least equal to that of a can of beans” (217), and in 1993 calls Broadway theater “a cripple looking for a crutch” (525).
In this essay, the author also establishes connections between his play and its impact when put on stage abroad in places like China, Russia, South Africa, and South America–countries that share the experience of endured dictatorships and a terrifying process of persecution.
contain many other relevant aspects in addition to the few selected for this review.
As its title indicates, it is an exhaustive, annotated bibliographic guide to research printed in English on Arthur Miller.
Its table of contents indicates its thoroughness: after a chronology, Koorey, for primary works, lists all stage plays, screenplays, teleplays and smaller dramatic works, then radio plays and unpublished works, fiction, and poetry; under nonfiction, she separately catalogs books, forewords and introductions, essays, speeches, letters, statements (brief comments in others’ works), and even blurbs for others’ books.
Beforehand, we should take into consideration the title of this book, a reference taken from the epilogue of , one of his most famous plays, deeply connected to the intent to express a political point of view against the predominant hysteria in two historical events: the witch-hunt in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692 and the witch-hunt stimulated by the Senator Joseph Mc Carthy in the 1950s.
Taking an overview in Miller’s works, it is possible to detect a set of themes evoked and reelaborated in his fiction, critical essays and drama, all of which reveals the author’s concern about incorporating in his creation process a discussion that implies the consciousness of social and political structures.