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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. VI, No. 3
Winter, 1982





I find this issue a particularly exciting one, despite its paucity of pictures, because it combines personal recollection and scholarly analysis and because its "focus" section on O'Neill's one act plays suggests a number of ways in which the playwright's work can and should be studied. Romulus Linney, being himself a distinguished dramatist, has a special awareness of the mind and art of O'Neill. His comparison between his teachers' embarrassment in treating O'Neill and his own later reassessment of the man and his particular genius echoes, I am sure, the experience of many of us, and does so very movingly. It is an honor to be able to print it. Albert Wertheim, O'Neill Society President, in a more objective but no less persuasive essay, underscores O'Neill's connections with playwrights who preceded and followed him. His study will, I hope, inspire a more sympathetic look hereafter at the underrated Days Without End. And the mini-anthology of articles on the one-acts demonstrates a variety of fruitful avenues for O'Neill study: historical documentation (Sarlós), linguistic analysis (Perrin), thematic interpretation (Ratliff), and the tracing of sources and analogues (Timár and Watt, respectively). The convergence of so many pieces on the short plays was fortuitous, but their multifarious focuses make their contiguity especially revealing. (In simpler language, my thanks to the contributors!)


Another happy revelation in this issue, in both the reviews and the news notes, is the rich abundance of new and forthcoming books by and about O'Neill. Long before the inevitable flurry at centennial time in 1988, O'Neill seems to be an extremely hot property, as he unquestionably deserves to be. If the Newsletter does no more than spread the word about what is happening and available elsewhere, it will have served its purpose. As ever, it is thanks to its dedicated readers that it is able to do so.

The first of my two apologies is to the officers and members of the Modern Language Association and the American Theatre Association, who may have inferred from the start of my announcement of the Spring 1984 O'Neill conference in Boston (Summer-Fall 1982, p. 55) that I lack appreciation for their contributions to the study and appreciation of O'Neill. In a word (or two), I don't. Were it not for MLA, the Newsletter would never have begun. And ATA's activities in anticipation of the centennial deserve, and have, my applause and full support. All I meant, when I said that O'Neill should be brought out from under their "ponderous shadow," was that he should, from time to time, have full-scale feasts of his own, and not be only a perennial course in bigger banquets. If I was misunderstood, my apologies. As for the "feast" (and the date mentioned in my title), responses have been most gratifying: many have expressed an interest in participating, and the Spring 1984 conference on "Eugene O'Neill--the Early Years" should be a memorable one. (For details, see pages 55-56 of the last issue.) And I can now announce, with something approaching certainty, its dates: Thursday, March 22 to Sunday, March 25, 1984. Fuller details will appear in the next issue, but I hope everyone will hasten to mark those days on next year's calendar.

The second apology is less solemn but just as sincere. Puzzlists are right to resent having to wait a third-or-more of a year to learn the correct answers to a crossword puzzle. I hasten to print, below, the answer to the last one (Summer-Fall 1982, p. 29), and assure all gamespersons that the solution to this issue's puzzle is included herein. No peeking, though!



The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Vol. VI, No. 3. Copyright (c) 1982 by the Eugene O'Neill Newsletter. Copyright © 2011 by Harley J. Hammerman. Editor: Frederick C. Wilkins. Assoc. Editor: Marshall Brooks. Subscriptions: $6/year for individuals in U.S. & Canada, $10/year for libraries, institutions and all overseas subscribers. Only one-year subscriptions are accepted. Members of the Eugene O'Neill Society receive subscriptions as part of their annual dues. Back issues available @ $3 each. Address: The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Department of English, Suffolk University, Boston, MA 02114 U.S.A.


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