Cover image for Long day's journey into night
Title:
Long day's journey into night
Author:
O'Neill, Eugene, 1888-1953.
Personal Author:
Edition:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New Haven : Yale University Press, [2002]

©1989
Physical Description:
xii, 179 pages ; 20 cm.
General Note:
Reprint. Originally published: c1989. With new foreword.
Language:
English
Reading Level:
NP Lexile.
Program Information:
Reading Counts RC High School 8.2 10 Quiz: 07052 Guided reading level: NR.
ISBN:
9780300093056
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Concord Library PS3529.N5 L6 1989 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
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Summary

Summary

Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical play Long Day's Journey into Night is regarded as his finest work. First published by Yale University Press in 1956, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and has since sold more than one million copies. This edition, which includes a new foreword by Harold Bloom, coincides with a new production of the play starring Brian Dennehy, which opens in Chicago in January 2002 and in New York in April.

"By common consent, Long Day's Journey into Night is Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece. . . . The helplessness of family love to sustain, let alone heal, the wounds of marriage, of parenthood, and of sonship, have never been so remorselessly and so pathetically portrayed, and with a force of gesture too painful ever to be forgotten by any of us."--Harold Bloom, from the foreword

"Only an artist of O'Neill's extraordinary skill and perception can draw the curtain on the secrets of his own family to make you peer into your own. Long Day's Journey into Night is the most remarkable achievement of one of the world's greatest dramatists."--Jose Quintero

"The play is an invaluable key to its author's creative evolution. It serves as the Rosetta Stone of O'Neill's life and art."--Barbara Gelb

"The definitive edition of a 'play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood,' as O'Neill described it in dedicating it to his wife, Carlotta."-- Boston Globe



Author Notes

Eugene O'Neill was born in New York City on October 16, 1888, the son of popular actors James O'Neill and Ellen Quinlan. As a young child, he frequently went on tour with his father and later attended a Catholic boarding school and a private preparatory school. He entered Princeton University but stayed for only a year. He took a variety of jobs, including prospecting for gold, shipping out as a merchant sailor, joining his father on the stage, and writing for newspapers. In 1912, he was hospitalized for tuberculosis and emotional exhaustion. While recovering, he read a great deal of dramatic literature and, after his release from the sanitarium, began writing plays.

O'Neill got his theatrical start with a group known as the Provincetown Players, a company of actors, writers, and other theatrical newcomers, many of whom went on to achieve commercial and critical success. His first plays were one-act works for this group, works that combined realism with experimental forms.

O'Neill's first commercial successes, Beyond the Horizon (1920) and Anna Christie (1921) were traditional realistic plays. Anna Christie is still frequently performed. It is the story of a young woman, Anna, whose hard life has led her to become a prostitute. Anna comes to live with her long-lost father, who is unaware of her past, and she falls in love with a sailor, who is also unaware. When Anna finds the two men fighting over her as though she were property, she is so angry and disgusted that she insists on telling them the truth. The man she loves rejects her at first, but then later returns to marry her.

Soon O'Neill began to experiment more, and over the next 12 years used a wide variety of unusual techniques, settings, and dramatic devices. It is no exaggeration to say that, virtually on his own, O'Neill created a tradition of serious American theater. His influence on the playwrights who followed him has been enormous, and much of what is taken today for granted in modern American theater originated with O'Neill. A major legacy has been the nine plays he wrote between 1924 and 1931, tragedies that made heavy use of the new Freudian psychology just coming into fashion. His one comedy, Ah, Wilderness (1933), was the basis for the musical comedy, Oklahoma!, itself a groundbreaking event in American theater.

O'Neill later began to write the intense, brooding, and highly autobiographical plays that are now considered to his best work. The Iceman Cometh (1946) is set in a bar in Manhattan's Bowery, or skid-row district. In the course of the play, a group of apparently happy men are forced to recognize the true emptiness of their lives. In A Long Day's Journey into Night (1956), O'Neill examines his own family and their tormented lives, a subject he continues in A Moon for the Misbegotten (1957).

O'Neill's work was highly honored. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1936 and Pulitzer Prizes for Anna Christie, Beyond the Horizon, Strange Interlude (1928), and A Long Day's Journey Into Night, which also received the New York Drama Critics Circle Award.

O'Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953, at the age of 65. He was also born in a hotel room in Times Square, NYC.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 1

Choice Review

This latest reprinting--the 61st--of O'Neill's 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning classic corrects six textual errors attributable to accidental misprinting and dropping of material. A seventh correction, "silently" made in the fifth printing, is also acknowledged. The corrections, none of which significantly alters meaning, range from emending "fron" to "front" and "sibject" to "subject" to adding lines of dialogue and stage directions in four places. A "Publisher's Note" specifies the corrections and names the individuals responsible for bringing them to the publisher's attention. Libraries in need of the play, or those desiring multiple copies, should surely acquire this edition, since it is the closest modern scholarship has thus far come to giving us the work O'Neill intended his audience to have (as such, it will interest students, scholars, and theater professionals). Others must weigh benefits against costs, though the modest paperback price puts this world-renowned masterpiece of the American stage well within the reach of all but the most financially strapped library. Includes attractive frontispiece. Recommended for all college and university libraries. H. I. Einsohn Middlesex Community College


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