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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. II, No. 3
January, 1979




This winter is a time of endings and beginnings, in much more than a seasonal sense. For instance, Volume II of the Newsletter comes to an end with this issue; but a hurried glance at just the first page is enough to suggest that the seeds of an even better Volume III have already been planted. The editorial staff has doubled (from one to two!) and the new logotype of O'Neill--with its brooding stare, its aura of mask, and its simultaneous suggestions of wingedness and solidity--is the work of associate editor Marshall Brooks. Himself the editor and printer of a literary magazine, Nostoc, and a 1976 graduate of Suffolk University, Mr. Brooks is a free-lance writer whose eclectic interests have been recorded in such publications as Canadian Literature, the Boston Globe, and the Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter. His affection for O'Neill began in an English Honors seminar on the playwright in 1974 and has continued to ripen in the intervening years. His favorite O'Neill work is Iceman, partly because of its dialectal dazzle and partly (perhaps) because he describes himself as "the kind of guy who can't pass up a good, dark bar." Marshall's gifts as artist, printer and layout designer will make him an invaluable collaborator on future issues.

Of course the wary will not judge a newsletter solely by its cover, but another "seed" will be evident within. The editor's longstanding desire to include photographs has at last been realized, with several scenes of the Sharon (Conn.) Playhouse's 1978 summer production of Marco Millions. What an asset it can be, for scholars and theatre people alike, to have set designs and action shots of productions otherwise inaccessible to them. Future contributors should seriously consider submitting diagrams, drawings and photographs (5x7"glossies) to accompany articles--especially reports and reviews of specific productions.

I should mention one additional change in the current issue: the use of different sizes of type. To keep the publication at an attractive price to subscribers, while also providing as much O'Neill material as possible within its modest size, we have decided to include longer pieces, but to print them in smaller type. Witness Professor Charles Carpenter's mammoth and tremendously valuable bibliography of books that include chapters or sections on O'Neill (p. 29).    It will be of great use to scholars around the world, so it certainly merits printing; yet it lacks the cliffhanger element that would call for serialization. So we have chosen a reduced, double-column format for its presentation. If the print tries one's patience, we apologize. It is merely an experiment, and we welcome readers' responses, both to the mini-print of the bibliography and the in-between type we have used for the Provincetown Playhouse production list, the "Persons Represented" section, and the index to Volume II. If the latter type is acceptable, we can print slightly longer essays than we have in the past. If the mini-print is permissible, we can print considerably longer essays-­and we have received several that would be of great interest to readers. Let us know.

But when I spoke of this season being a time of beginnings, I had more than the Newsletter in mind. There are other evidences of rebirth in O'Neill studies that extend well beyond the medium of print. Two are recorded in this issue: the restoration of the Monte Cristo Cottage in New London and the plans for its use by scholars and artists and the completion of an architectural competition for the new Playhouse and O'Neill Archival Center in Provincetown (p. 4). Putting these activities together with the two exciting O'Neill sessions at the MLA Convention in December--a three-hour, star-studded presentation by actors, directors and scholars on the 29th; and the first formative meeting of a Eugene O'Neill Society on the 30th (p. 3)--one has an incontrovertible feeling that exceptional days are ahead, for lovers of O'Neill in particular, and, in general, for the future development of significant American drama and dramatists.

Two final notes to subscribers. (1) Many subscriptions end with the current issue. If the box at the right has a large red X in it, yours is one of them. I hope you will wish to resubscribe and will send a check for the appropriate amount as soon as possible, so that work on the May issue can progress with speed and confidence. The order blank at the end of the issue provides information about rates and the possibility of multi-year subscriptions. New subscribers may use the same blank. (2) The Newsletter exists to serve you, and to provide a forum for your views, reviews and opinions. So I urge everyone to submit materials for inclusion. If you wish to respond, favorably or unfavorably, to what you read herein, let me know--indicating whether or not your comments are for publication. If you attend a production listed in this or subsequent issues, or see a performance that escaped the attention of the editor, send in a review or a descriptive report. Scholarly essays of course remain welcome--though I request again that they be brief and, whenever possible, include documentation in the text itself and not in footnotes. But the Newsletter's liveliness depends on shorter items--notes, retorts, queries, etc. Do contribute them. With your help, Volume III will be better than ever!

The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Vol. II, No. 3. Copyright (c) 1978 by The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter. Copyright © 2011 by Harley J. Hammerman. Editor: Frederick C. Wilkins. Assoc. Editor: Marshall Brooks. Subscriptions: $3/year for individuals in U. S. and Canada, $5/year for libraries and institutions and all overseas subscribers. Address: The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Dept. of English, Suffolk University, Boston, MA 02114 U.S.A.


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