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Posts Tagged ‘Henry Brandon’

To blog daily is a monster beast to feed and I wish I had some great system to feed that monster. Instead it tends to be like manna I get just for the day. But when I find myself stuck for a post I don’t turn to the Internet to find something fresh, I turn to books I have read and reread over the years. And usually in some highlighted text and old friend jumps up and down saying, “use me, use me.”

And so it is today when I turned to the book Conversations with Arthur Miller (edited by Matthew C. Roudane) that I found the following quotes on writing by the great Death of a Salesman playwright:

“The very impulse to write springs from an inner chaos, a crying for order, for meaning and that meaning must be discovered in the process of writing or the work lies dead as it is finished.”
Arthur Miller interview with Chrisitan-Albrecht Gollub
Page 287

On being asked “What stimulates you into writing a play?”
“If I knew, I could probably control the inception of it better. I’m at the mercy of it; I don’t really know. I cannot write anything that I understand too well. If I know what something means to me, if I already have come to the end of it as an experience, I can’t write it because it seems like a twice-told story.”
Arthur Miller interview with Henry Brandon/1960

“Ibsen used to present answers. Despite the fashion that claims he never presented answers, he of course did. In the Doll’s House and even Hedda Gabler, we will find—and in Chekhov, too—we will find speeches toward the ends of these plays which suggest, if they don’t overtly state, what the alternative values are to those which are misled the heroes or heroines of the action shown…So far, I will admit, the bulk of literature, not only on the stage but elsewhere, is an exposition of man’s failure: his failure to assert his sense of civilized and moral life.”
Arthur Miller interview with Phillip Gelb/1958
Page 36

Note that Ibsen was a big influence on Miller’s early years as a writer. Miller even did an American translation of the Ibsen play An Enemy of the People.

Scott W. Smith


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