Shortly after the debut of Exorcism in 1920, Eugene O’Neill suddenly canceled production and ordered all extant copies of the drama destroyed. For over ninety years, it was believed that the play was irrevocably lost, until it was recently discovered that O’Neill’s second wife had in fact retained a copy, which she later gave to the prolific screenwriter and producer PhiliShortly after the debut of Exorcism in 1920, Eugene O’Neill suddenly canceled production and ordered all extant copies of the drama destroyed. For over ninety years, it was believed that the play was irrevocably lost, until it was recently discovered that O’Neill’s second wife had in fact retained a copy, which she later gave to the prolific screenwriter and producer Philip Yordan. In early 2011, Yordan’s widow discovered the typescript of Exorcism—complete with edits in O’Neill’s own hand—in her late husband’s vast trove of papers. The discovery and publication of Exorcism, a relatively early play in the O’Neill corpus, furthers our knowledge of O’Neill’s dramatic development and reveals a pivotal point in the career of this great American playwright.Revolving around a suicide attempt, Exorcism draws on a dark incident in O’Neill’s own life. This defining event led to his first serious efforts to write. Exorcism displays early examples of O’Neill’s unparalleled skills of capturing deeply personal human drama, and it explores major themes—mourning and melancholia, addiction and sobriety, tensions between fathers and sons—that would permeate his later work. According to Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library curator Louise Bernard, who acquired the play from a New York bookseller, “Exorcism might be read as a preparatory sketch that resonates powerfully with Long Day’s Journey into Night, one that brings the O’Neill family drama full circle in ways at once intimate and grandly conceived.”...
|Number of Pages||:||110 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
the background of eugene o'neill's exorcism is perhaps more compelling than the play itself. his final one-act play (published in 1919 and first performed a year later), exorcism is the tale of a thwarted suicide attempt - informed by o'neill's own failed try some seven years earlier. suicide was seemingly ever-present in the playwright's life: his drug-addicted mother had made an attempt, his grandfather may have taken his own life, and both of his sons would later succumb by their own hand.performed for a single two-week run in the spring of 1920, o'neill sought to destroy all copies of the play following its production (though for personal or professional reasons it remains unknown). some ninety years later, a single extant typescript was found by the widow of screenwriter/producer philip yordan - friend of o'neill's second wife, agnes, who presumably gifted the one-act to him decades before (with the original packaging featured on this edition's endpapers). while the nobel laureate never again wanted the play to see print, it does make for an intriguing addition to his larger body of work.in a foreword by his fellow playwright, edward albee makes the case that exorcism could well have been included as a scene in o'neill's play about pipe dreams and frustrated aspirations, the iceman cometh. exorcism also features an informative introduction by louise bernard (curator or prose and drama for the yale collection of american literature's beinecke rare book and manuscript library).she was pretty, but she looked - there were all the weak sins of the world in her face - she looked like a painted clown with the black on her eyes and the greasy rouge on her lips - like a clown, you understand, a pitiable clown - and yet loathsome - oh, unutterably! and then, if she was that - what was i? and all of a sudden she turned over on her back and began to snore - more gross than a pig! and it seemed to me that suddenly everything i had ever done, my whole life - all life - had become too rotten! my head had been pushed under, i was drowning and the thick slime of loathing poured down my throat - strangling me!
How can one give a rating in stars to this play when the author himself wanted it to disappear? A lesson to learn: never trust your ex-wife...
The sad story of the attempted suicide of Ned, saved by his friends; based on the author true history.La triste storia del tentato suicidio di Ned, salvato dai suoi amici e basata sulla storia vera dell'autore.THANKS TO NETGALLEY AND YALE UNIVERSITY PRESS FOR THE PREVIEW
More interesting as an artifact than as drama/literature
Interesting "lost" play of O'Neill's. A one-act play in which can be seen O'Neill's future, greater work. Good introductions.
how this reading ?
four stars for the actual play, which only takes up about 30% of the book. The rest is 2 long, overly wordy introductions and a copy of the typewritten play.