Eugene O'Neill In China

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Overview

The year 1988 was notable for being the centennial of playwright Eugene O'Neill's birth and a time of unprecedented democratization in the People's Republic of China and rapprochement with the West. In this optimal climate, a remarkable festival and conference devoted to O'Neill was held in Nanjing, China, orchestrated mainly by Haiping Liu, who secured the funds and cooperation necessary to lure noted O'Neill scholars and theatre artists from around the world. Liu selected and edited papers for publication after the conference, but he realized that this would be a difficult task conducted from China. At his invitation Lowell Swortzell, a conference participant, became co-editor, and in the dark days following the political upheaval in China in 1989, Swortzell assumed much of the burden of editing, organizing, clearing rights, and generally readying the final volume.

The essays included capture the intellectual and artistic stimulation of the conference. Organized in divisions similar to the order in which the papers were delivered, they explore the major areas of O'Neill scholarship by some of the most renowned scholars from the United States, Western and Eastern Europe, Japan, and China. They emphasize O'Neill's international reputation and productions, particularly in Asia. Included is an open forum discussion of the festival productions, as well as photographs. The circumstances of the festival and conference are a story unto themselves, and in their individual introductions, the co-editors relate some of the background and convey some of the flavor of the events—providing insights into the continued appeal of O'Neill in China and the world.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

HAIPING LIU is Professor and Chair of English at Nanjing University, China.

LOWELL SWORTZELL is Professor of Educational Theatre at New York University.

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Table of Contents

Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Letters of Greeting
From the People's Republic of China
From the United States
Keynote Address
O'Neill's Universal Brotherhood: A Theatre for Today's World
Introductions
From the People's Republic of China
From the United States
Pt. 1 O'Neill's Philosophic and Religious Motifs
1 Eugene O'Neill's Tao Te Ching: The Spiritual Evolution of a Mystic 3
2 Eugene O'Neill and Puritanism 13
3 Iceman and Journey, Yin and Yang: Taoist Rhythm and O'Neill's Late Tragedies 21
4 Eugene O'Neill's Marco Millions: Desiring Marginality and the Dematerialization of the Orient 29
5 O'Neill's Understanding of Chinese Thought in Marco Millions 37
6 The Uses of Pessimism: Some Random Thoughts about Eugene O'Neill 43
Pt. 2 O'Neill in Comparison
7 Strutctures of Forgiveness: The Endings of A Moon for the Misbegotten and Ibsen's Peer Gynt 51
8 Politics and a Proletarian Tragedy: A Comparative Analysis of the Reception of Eugene O'Neill's The Hairy Ape in Germany and the United States 59
9 Eternal Recurrence and the Shaping of O'Neill's Dramatic Structures 71
10 Leo Tolstoy's The Power of Darkness and Eugene O'Neill's Desire under the Elms: A Road to Redemption 89
Pt. 3 O'Neill as Playwright
11 Eugene O'Neill, World Playwright: The Beginnings 99
12 Three O'Neill Women: An Emergent Pattern 111
13 Author, Actor, Audience: The Metatheatrical Elements in the Late Plays of Eugene O'Neill 121
14 Eugene O'Neill's Dynamo and the Expressionist Canon 129
15 The Black World of Eugene O'Neill 137
16 Building Characters: Eugene O'Neill's Composition Process 149
17 Register and Idiolect in The Iceman Cometh and Long Day's Journey into Night 157
18 Mirrors of Consciousness: Narrative Patterns in O'Neill's The Iceman Cometh 165
Pt. 4 O'Neill on Stage
19 Eugene O'Neill and the Provincetown Players: Watershed in American Theatre 177
20 Dramatic Tension Between Expressionistic Design and Naturalistic Acting in The Emperor Jones 183
21 The Emperor Jones as a Source of Theatrical Experimentation, 1920s-1980s 199
22 The Iceman Cometh Twice: A Comparison of the 1946 and 1956 New York Productions 211
23 Directing the Plays of Eugene O'Neill--Style, Substance, and Synthesis 223
24 All God's Chillun Play Games 231
Pt. 5 O'Neill Abroad
25 Ingmar Bergman and Long Day's Journey into Night 241
26 How Does O'Neill Fare in China? 249
27 Two Popular O'Neill Plays Staged in Japan: Ah, Wilderness! and Desire under the Elms 255
28 Directing Mourning Becomes Electra in Japan 265
29 O'Neill in a Chinese Classroom: Before Breakfast--A Good Starting Point 269
30 Panel Discussion on the Nanjing O'Neill Theatre Festival 275
OáNeill: An International Perspective--A Bibliographic Note 291
Index 295
About the Editors and Contributors 303
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