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Editor: Frederick Wilkins
Suffolk University, Boston

Vol. VIII, No. 2
Summer-Fall 1984



Caricature of O'Neill (1930) by Alex Gard,
created to accompany Sidney Skolsky's
sketch of "The Great God O'Neill".


Welcome to the Newsletter's 23rd issue and (at a hasty count) its 761st page! I'd no idea, in January of 1977, that the publication would win so many readers and retain their loyalty for so long, nor that so much material would be submitted that the 16 pages of that preview issue--pictureless, stapled in the corner and foldable for mailing--would look so quaintly miniscule eight years later. Even the "special double issue" that began Vol. IV--at the then-whopping size of 38 pages--seems charmingly diminutive today. Thanks to the support of Suffolk University, the Eugene O'Neill Society, and especially its actively contributing subscribers, the Newsletter, I can augur with confidence, will continue to grow in size and importance, into and well beyond the imminent O'Neill centennial in 1988. In anticipation of that growth, which already necessitates far more editorial and clerical effort than I'd even dreamed of in '77, I waft some messages to subscribers and authors.

The first is to all who bristle at the Newsletter's congenital tardiness, a failing that's likely to end only when the production staff is increased and we step resolutely into the burgeoning world of word processing. Be assured, in the interim, that if you keep me apprised of your address, every issue will reach you, even if its seasonable label is belied by the weather outside! If there must be displeasure, I'd rather it be aroused by tardiness than by shoddiness; and, aside from the periodic typo that craftily eludes detection until too late, shoddiness is a sin that the Newsletter has assiduously avoided.

The second message is to contributors of articles, who wait in vain for a speedy reply. Until the Newsletter establishes a board of editorial advisors to share the task of evaluating submissions--something I'll be considering in the near future--the task of evaluation, and frequently of revision, currently mine alone, will continue to be slow. Given two essays of equal importance, the better written will be published sooner: I have a number of manuscripts, all meritorious in substance, that must await the time necessary to turn them into a form that offers delight as well as instruction. I should also repeat the announcement in the last issue that, starting with Vol. IX in 1985, the new MLA rules for documentation will be in effect. (See p. 45 of the Spring 1984 issue for details.) Submissions conforming already to the new rules will see print sooner than those requiring overhaul.

Next, a message for theatergoers. If you plan to attend an O'Neill production, please consider requesting complimentary tickets, penning a review, and asking the producers for glossy photos to accompany it in a future issue. Even a seriously flawed production can throw light on the text, and the reviews most welcome would concentrate on generally applicable insights, of use to future performers and interpreters, more than on topical ephemera. And the best pictures are sharp, bright, high-definition ones that include the mise en scne, and groups of characters in interaction--though telling close-ups are frequently of value as well. One of the Newsletter's goals is to provide an annotated, illustrated record of O'Neill productions around the world. With your help, it can be realized.

I know it's presumptuous, after the earlier apologies, to mention again that the Newsletter subscription price will rise, in 1985, to $10 and $15 a year, respectively, for individual and institutional subscribers in the U.S. and Canada, and to $15 for all overseas subscriptions. I promise to make the Newsletter worthy of its necessarily higher price; and I conclude this preface, as illustration, with a partial list of the exciting features that await you in the next issue:

  • CASA GENOTTA: a portfolio of architect's photographs of the O'Neills' Georgia home, with commentary by Winifred L. Frazer.

  • "Strange Interlude: Strange Criticism," by Frederic I. Carpenter, author of O'Neill.

  • "'My Yosephine': The Music for Anna Christie," by Travis Bogard. (Music included.)

  • Reviews of Critical Essays on Eugene O'Neill, ed. James J. Martine, and Virginia Floyd's The Plays of Eugene O'Neill: A New Assessment, just published by Ungar. Plus the usual, thrice-ennial assemblage of news, reviews and abstracts.

Do stay tuned (and subscribed), dear reader. The best is yet to come! --FCW.

The Eugene O'Neill Newsletter, Vol. VIII, No. 2. ISSN: 0733-0456. Copyright (c) 1984 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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