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Contour in Time: The Plays of Eugene O'Neill

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Eugene O'Neill, one of America's most gifted and prolific playwrights, wrote more than 60 plays between 1914 and 1941, a level of creativity paralleled in modern times only by Bernard Shaw. The progress of his art from experimental one-act plays to the monumental tragedies of his later years is a story as dramatic and compelling as that of his tortured personal history. Combining the two, Professor Bogard traces the contours of O'Neill's life in his art. By discussing, in their approximate order of composition, the published and unpublished works, Bogard illuminates not only the plays, but also the literary, aesthetic, and historical influences on the playwright's development. For the revised edition of this insightful, meticulously written work, the author has added new and unpublished material on A Tale of Possessors, Self-dispossessed, a cycle of eleven plays written by O'Neill during the 1930s and '40s, only one of which he readied for the stage. Among the plays in this cycle that have been posthumously produced are More Stately Mansions (New York, 1967) and A Touch of the Poet (New York, 1958).

This revised edition of Bogard's study examines how the progress of Eugene O'Neill's art reflects the contours of his personal life.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"A classic.... [The final chapter], a masterpiece of compression...draws together innumerable facets of the dramatist's life and work and shows how [A Long Day's Journey into Night] achieves an illumination through pain that may have been O'Neill's salvation."--The New York Times Book Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195053418
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/28/1988
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 528
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Author:
Travis Bogard, Professor Emeritus of Dramatic Art at the University of California, Berkeley, has co-edited several volumes of Eugene O'Neill's letters and is editing the forthcoming Complete Works of Eugene O'Neill. He was awarded a Gold Medal from The Theater Committee on Eugene O'Neill in 1984.

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Table of Contents

Introduction xi
I The Tyro (1913-1914) 3
A Wife for a Life
The Web
The Movie Man
Bread and Butter
Bound East for Cardiff
II The Student (1914-1916) 45
The Dear Doctor
A Knock at the Door
The Sniper
The Personal Equation
The G. A. M.
Now I Ask You
III The Amateur (1916-1917) 63
Before Breakfast
In the Zone
The Long Voyage Home
The Moon of the Caribbees
The Reckoning
IV Pause (1918-1919) 95
Where the Cross Is Made
The Rope
The Dreamy Kid
The Straw
Chris Christopherson
Beyond the Horizon
Till We Meet
Honor Among the Bradleys
The Trumpet
V Amateur's End (1920) 131
The Emperor Jones
The First Man
The Ole Davil
"Anna Christie"
VI The Triumvirate, 1 (1922-1924) 167
All God's Chillun Got Wings
Desire Under the Elms
VII The Triumvirate, 2 (1921-1926) 227
The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The Revelations of John the Divine
The Fountain
The Hairy Ape
Marco Millions
The Great God Brown
Lazarus Laughed
VIII The End of Experiment (1924-1932) 291
Strange Interlude
Days Without End
IX The Historian (1929-1933) 331
Mourning Becomes Electra
X The Door and the Mirror (1933-1941) 363
A Tale of Possessors
A Touch of the Poet
More Stately Mansions
The Iceman Cometh
Long Day's Journey into Night
A Moon for the Misbegotten
Bibliographical Note 459
A Note on the Revised Edition 461
Notes 463
Appendix I. The Staging of the Tao House Plays 471
Appendix II. Casts of O'Neill's plays 479
Index 501
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