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A History of the American Drama from the Civil War to the Present Day

Quinn, Arthur Hobson
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1927
First edition

    NOTES:  "Eugene O'Neill, Poet and Mystic" - Chapter XXI, 165-206.



This standard history of the American drama received a fourth printing in 1945, which date appears on title page, but covers plays only until 1936, although certain additions at the end of some chapters and the bibliography contain material into the 1940's.  This edition is a consolidated single volume with separate pagination for the two originally separate volumes.  The essay on O'Neill remains essentially identical through all editions and printings, but the final chapter on the "New Decade" carries through Days Without End.  The "Poet and Mystic" chapter originally appeared in Scribner's in Oct. 1926, but was considerably expanded for the book.  Quinn's view is that O'Neill's Celtic background makes him a mystic, and the plays are analyzed in this light.

The chapter includes O'Neill's explanation of Brown, which appeared in most New York newspapers in Feb. 1926.  There is also a personal letter from O'Neill, partly reproduced in facsimile, explaining his artistic philosophy.

Although Quinn's book dwells heavily upon American drama before O'Neill, it is a popular and easy-reading history which is a basic reference text in any drama library.Miller


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