Proverbial language figures prominently in the works of Eugene O'Neill (1883-1953), the recipient of four Pulitzer prizes and a Nobel laureateship for literature. This book is a directory to the proverbs, proverbial expressions, and proverbial comparisons in O'Neill's 50 dramas and numerous letters, articles, diaries, and notebooks. Very little attention has been given to any aspect of O'Neill's language, to say nothing of the virtual disregard of him as a wielder of proverbial diction. This collection of 2,059 examples of O'Neill's proverbial usage is a first step towards remedying that situation and provides a foundation for future scholarship.
The introduction shows how O'Neill used proverbs as a structural element of his dramas and places his proverbial usage in the context of international proverb scholarship, offers examples and generalizations about his manipulation of proverbs, and suggests fruitful areas of further investigation. The heart of the book is a key-word index to the proverbial texts that identifies the locations of the proverbial examples in the canon of O'Neill's works and facilitates comparisons of similar locutions. Each proverbial construction is dated so that the reader can immediately see the chronological range of the texts. For those interested in the history of particular proverbs, citations of standard proverb dictionaries are appended to most of the texts. Two appendices show the frequency with which proverbs appear and their distribution among the various dramas.
About the Author
GEORGE B. BRYAN is Professor of Theatre at the University of Vermont and has published several reference books on theatrical biography, the latest of which are Stage Deaths: A Biographical Guide to International Theatrical Obituaries, 1850-1990 (2 vols., Greenwood, 1991) and Ethel Merman: A Bio-Bibliography (Greenwood, 1992). In addition to American Theatrical Legislation, 1607-1900: Conspectus and Texts (1994), Bryan also wrote Black Sheep, Red Herrings, and Blue Murder: The Proverbial Agatha Christie (1993).
WOLFGANG MIEDER is Professor of German and Folklore at the University of Vermont. His many books include A Dictionary of American Proverbs (1992), Proverbs are Never out of Season (1993), The Proverbial Winston S. Churchill (Greenwood, 1995), The Politics of Proverbs (1997), and numerous others. He is also the editor of Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship.
Table of Contents
How to Use This Book
Eugene O'Neill and the Proverb
O'Neill Editions Consulted
Key-word Index to Eugene O'Neill's Proverbs, Proverbial Expressions, and Proverbial Comparisons
Appendix I: Distribution
Appendix II: Frequency