Eugene O’Neill’s(1888-1953) best play A Long Day’s Journey Into Night was made into a film. It was released in early October 1962. It starred Katharine Hepburn and Ralph Richardson among others. The movie was directed by Sidney Lumet (1924-2011). At that year’s Cannes Film Festival Richardson and others received Best Actor awards, and Hepburn was named Best Actress. In September 1962 I had started my matriculation studies in preparation for my university entrance exams.
My parents had just been elected to the local spiritual assembly of the Baha’is of Dundas Ontario and, in August, I completed my last season of baseball after 8 years in what was then the small town of Burlington in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe. O’Neill won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936 as the North American Baha’i community was making its first plans for a formal, a systematic teaching plan(1937-1944). He died at the outset of the Baha’i community’s Ten Year Crusade(1953-1963). I mention this because I have been associated with these Baha’i plans for nearly 60 years-Ron Price with thanks to ABC2, 22 October 2011, 8:30 p.m.
Your struggles wore you to a frazzle,1
probably killed you, but I knew none
of this, occupied as I have been with
my own struggles, writing---like you:
about the self and the world as well
as cultivating a public image in a far
different way than you did and then
becoming, not so much anti-social like
you, but more a private man in this the
evening of life my after decades of a high
sociability and bipolar disorder battles.
1 See TLS, “The Genius of O’Neill,” Tony Kushner, 18/12’03. O’Neill wrote over four dozen plays, most of them unsuccessful, but these failed plays laid the groundwork for his successful ones. I had had a lifetime of writing before I really found my own voice, my readership, in the early years of the 3rd millennium. Like, O’Neill, though, I like to think that whatever authority and audacity is found in my writing was there in my own awkward beginnings in the 1960s and 1970s. Like O’Neill, too, I have a deep distrust of the political. He saw it as “a shallow bog which one risks getting stuck in.” This play, of which faith and doubt is one of its critical themes, was set in Connecticut in August 1912 at the same time during which ‘Abdul-Baha was in New England.
22 October 2011
Last edited on Sat Oct 22nd, 2011 09:38 pm by RonPrice
Thanks for your response, in media res. I write a great deal of autobiographical poetry, linking the experience and events of others in society to my own life and my beliefs. For some readers the result is a confused collection of material; for others a delight. Interesting that you live not ten minutes from the Baha'i Temple located in Wilmette, Illinois!
O'Neill wrote that "Everything I write is because I am Irish." I could also say: "Everything I write is because I am a Baha'i." As far as I know, as well, he did not mention the Baha'i Faith during his life.
Will be curious if you see the all African-American cast and what you think.
I know this is a theatre site but, but here is a link to the beauty of the Baha'i Temple in Wilmette, Illinois. As you can see, located on prime Real Estate overlooking the harbor on Lake Michigan. It is an astonishingly beautiful edifice.
Pleased to be able to correct your information base, in media res. I am no connoisseur of drama and playwrights. The word 'wright' is an archaic English term for a craftsman or builder (as in a wheelwright or cartwright) and this captures, in some ways, my interest in drama, plays, their history and contemporary expression. The prefix and the suffix combine to indicate someone who has wrought words, themes, and other elements into a dramatic form, someone who crafts plays. The homophone with write is in this case entirely coincidental, but many of my students could never see this and spelled the word incorrectly year after year.
I also wrought words and my interest in playwrights is due to my interest in writing. But it is also due to other factors. The following piece of prose will illustrate this interest in other ways; I hope you can endure whatwever confusing idiom you find.-Ron in Tasmania
What I have tried to do in my autobiography with its poetry, notes, journal and essays is to do what an Irish avant-garde novelist, playwright, theatre director, and poet Samuel Beckett(1906-1989) did with his plays. He specified, not just the words, but the rhythms and tones, the sets and the lighting plots, and these specifications are preserved in the remarkable series of notebooks published by Faber and Faber.(1) Where most great playwrights were content to write the text of a play, Beckett wrote the entire theatrical event. In some ways my autobiography is an entire theatrical event. As this theatrical event approaches some 2500 pages of narrative and 1000s of pages in other genres, this comparison of my approach to Beckett’s is, I think, apt.
(1) The Theatrical Notebooks of Samuel Beckett:Volume IV: The Shorter Plays, Grove Pub., 1999.
Last edited on Wed Oct 26th, 2011 03:43 am by RonPrice