By Clive Bloom (eds.)
An advent to American drama, geared toward scholars, lecturers and critical readers, that's additionally involved that the strange names and forgotten voices of these who made an enormous contribution to its historical past, were unfairly neglected.
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Extra info for American Drama
They are the result not only of our individual experiences but of the experiences of the whole human race, back through the ages. 12 While not, of course, restricted to American belief, this is a peculiarly American identification of the self with universals. It is effective in writers as apparently different as Melville, Whitman, Faulkner and Arthur Miller: the desire to write as a laureate of popular belief identifying self with universal and therefore permissive behaviour - a risk at any time, but critical when transferred to national conduct.
The rhythmic accumulations from the past which augment and enter present lives (from the 1916 plays through to Long Day's Journey into Night) are irresistible, operating as small rafts for limited but rescued life, as they do in Chekhov's plays. The Tyrone family reiterates the same language of sounds, gestures and words until an audience is saturated with an overwhelming echo system, visually and orally. The action has little or nothing of, for instance, Celine's 1932 satirical perceptions of America and the human condition, Journey to the End of the Night.
The audience is given the interior life in a series of monologues- they are not asides or soliloquies - which only they can hear. The reader of the text has also a detailed account of the concealed and revealed positions. Once again, O'Neill's drama moves towards the novel, and in this case towards those 'stream of consciousness' fictions made fashionable after Joyce's Ulysses in 1922, and neatly parodied by Groucho Marx a few years later, following the popularity of O'Neill's play. ) The presentation of the hidden, the secret, the taboo is popular - a resistance to censorship.