Author: Miller

Great Critics (And the Rest of Us)

Yesterday I made the mistake of pulling Christopher Bigsby’s latest book from the library shelf. Arthur Miller: A Critical Study (2005) will, I assume, be Bigsby’s final statement on Miller.

Jul 14, 2005
Category: Drama, Words

Kushner on Miller

“Although he refused the mechanical determinism of the unthinking Marxist left, he created in his greatest play a drama in which it is impossible to avoid thinking about economics–money–in any attempt to render coherent the human tragedy unfolding before you.”

May 26, 2005
Category: Drama, Words

Arthur Miller

Miller’s politics made him an enemy of the Right when he balked at the hypocrisy of anti-communist politicking, and an enemy of the Left when his “confused liberalism” (in the words of Eric Mottram) was deemed unsatisfactory at a time of revolutionary struggle. Miller, for his part, seemed most interested in simply understanding the human causes of human troubles. The work of the artist, you might say.

Feb 17, 2005
Category: Drama, Words

Media Blackout

“I’m a Communist because I want the people to take the power that comes with ownership away from the little class of capitalists who have it now.” Subtle, eh?

Nov 1, 2004
Category: Drama, Words

When (My) Worlds Collide

“He just sits there drinking iced tea, never ordering a thing to eat. So he was married to Marilyn Monroe. Big deal.” “Um, that was Arthur Miller. Not Norman Mailer.”

Oct 27, 2004
Category: Words

Living with Miller

After living with Miller for the last few days — after rereading The Crucible and After the Fall and a three inch stack of photocopied criticism — I’ve come to one significant conclusion: I don’t like Miller. His early work shows an obvious knack for wrenching every last drop of sentiment and inevitable heartbreak from a tragic narrative, but, damn, they are really unpleasant to read. His language is starving for poetry.

Oct 13, 2004
Category: Drama, Words

Arthur Miller, Then and Now

No new Cine Club notes this week, as we decided spontaneously last night (and with mixed results) to watch John Huston’s The Misfits (1961). I love parts of the film — Thelma Ritter’s jokes and Montgomery Clift’s performance, in particular — and I think it’s a fascinating film to talk about.

Aug 16, 2004
Category: Film

My Dissertation (in the News)

“A World in Which Everything Hurts,” a profile of Arthur Miller in The Forward, gets bonus points for mentioning, in a single paragraph, three of the authors I’m writing about in my dissertation.

Aug 8, 2004
Category: Drama, Words

A Writing Exercise

I spent my lunch hour over in the library, where I went snooping for some old Arthur Miller essays. Most have been collected in fine editions, of course, but I like to put my hands on the originals.

Oct 14, 2003
Category: Words

Day of Wrath (1943)

Day of Wrath is a damning critique of hypocritical authoritarian power told in very human terms, a modern fable that interrogates faith and sin, love and family, desire and its consequences.

Oct 2, 2001
Category: Film, Film Responses