Eugene O'Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy

Eugene O'Neill: Beyond Mourning and Tragedy

by Stephen A. Black
     
 

Within little more than three years of the opening of his first successful play on Broadway, Eugene O'Neill endured the deaths of his father, mother, and brother. These devastating losses plunged the young playwright into a period of guilt and profound mourning that consumed two decades of his life. In this enlightening critical biography, deeply informed by the… See more details below

Overview

Within little more than three years of the opening of his first successful play on Broadway, Eugene O'Neill endured the deaths of his father, mother, and brother. These devastating losses plunged the young playwright into a period of guilt and profound mourning that consumed two decades of his life. In this enlightening critical biography, deeply informed by the insights of psychoanalysis, Stephen Black presents a new understanding of Eugene O'Neill's life (1888-1953), from his troubled childhood and adolescence through a glacially slow period of mourning for his family to his ultimate emergence from the preoccupation with grief and loss that had pervaded his life and his writings. Black argues that O'Neill consciously and deliberately used playwriting as a medium of self-psychoanalysis-an endeavor that led to the creation of some of the finest American plays ever written and, eventually, to a successful therapeutic outcome.
Through close analysis of O'Neill's plays and literary writings, some five thousand surviving letters, other personal documents, and accounts of people who knew him, Black reaches new conclusions about important aspects of the playwright's life and work. He follows the slow course of O'Neill's mourning by studying the many grieving characters in O'Neill's plays, and when at last the playwright accepts his losses and moves on, his characters do likewise. The changed tone and form of O'Neill's final plays, including Hughie and A Moon for the Misbegotten, reflect the playwright's psychological and artistic growth and his hard-won victory over mourning and tragedy.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780300093995
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Publication date:
02/28/2002
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
604
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.34(d)

Table of Contents

A Word to the Reader
Abbreviations
1James and Ella, 1845-18771
2The Marriage, 1877-188418
3The Sons of Monte Cristo, 1884-189537
4The World Discovered and Rejected, 1895-190259
5Growing Up at School and on the Streets, 1902-190776
6Eugene Adrift, 1907-191195
7A Stroll on the Bottom of the Sea, 1912117
8A Tragic Playwright in the Making, 1913-1914133
9Among God's Fools: In Love in New London and Cambridge, 1914-1915157
10The Road to Provincetown, September 1915-January 1918185
11Gene 'n' Aggie, 1918-1919211
12Beyond the Horizon, 1919-1920237
13After Papa Died, 1920-1922261
14Eugene in Mourning, 1923281
15O'Neill's Analysis, 1923-1924299
16Further Analysis, 1925319
17Changes, 1925-1927334
18Gene and Carlotta Abroad, 1927-1931353
19O'Neill's Breakdown, 1931-1934374
20Into the Summerhouse, 1935-1939394
21Tragedy and Beyond, 1939414
22Celebrant of Loss, 1939-1941436
23Beyond Mourning, 1942-1943456
24San Francisco and New York, 1943-1947470
25The Long Voyage Home, 1947-1953491
Notes507
Annotated Bibliography509
Acknowledgments519
Index525

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