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Eugene O'Neill : Complete Plays 1913-1920 (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 1988

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Eugene O'Neill : Complete Plays 1913-1920 (Library of America) + Eugene O'Neill : Complete Plays 1920-1931 (Library of America) + Eugene O'Neill : Complete Plays 1932-1943 (Library of America)
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Product Details

  • Series: Library of America
  • Hardcover: 1104 pages
  • Publisher: Library of America (October 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0940450488
  • ISBN-13: 978-0940450486
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 1.4 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #170,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

The Library of America is an award-winning, nonprofit program dedicated to publishing America's best and most significant writing in handsome, enduring volumes, featuring authoritative texts. Hailed as "the most important book-publishing project is the nation's history" (Newsweek), this acclaimed series is restoring America's literary heritage in "the finest-looking, longest-lasting edition ever made" (New Republic).

About the Author

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953) is one of the most significant forces in the history of American theater. With no uniquely American tradition to guide him, O'Neill introduced various dramatic techniques, which subsequently became staples of the U.S. theater. By 1914 he had written twelve one-act and two long plays. Of this early work, only Thirst and Other One-act plays (1914) was originally published. From this point on, O'Neill's work falls roughly into three phases: the early plays, written from 1914 to 1921 (The Long Voyage Home, The Moon of the Caribbees, Beyond the Horizon, Anna Christie); a variety of full-length plays for Broadway (Desire Under the Elms; Great God Brown; Ah, Wilderness!); and the last, great plays, written between 1938 and his death (The Iceman Cometh, Long Day's Journey Into Night, A Moon for the Misbegotten). Eugene O'Neill is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1936.

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Customer Reviews

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By William H. Burke on February 21, 2000
Format: Hardcover
This is a tremendous source work, providing a sequential study of O'Neill's development as a dramatist. While not all of the plays are particularly successful, they reveal themes and settings that would provide the foundation for the later O'Neill masterworks. And there are many wonderful early dramas, such as the four S.S. Glencairn plays, his first broadway success "Beyond the Horizon," and the daring "Anna Christie," all of which tested and expanded the dramatic form in America. A wonderful collection!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By H. Schneider on July 3, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Volume 1 of Library of America's edition of Eugene O'Neill's plays covers his early years until 1920. Some of the 29 plays included here are not really worth preserving. Many are clearly apprentice work, but none of them is boring or uninteresting. Many are just unimportant and forgettable. Many contain the nucleus of something larger, but remain immature.
O'Neill was a white spot on my personal literary map. I don't think I ever watched any of his plays. I knew that he had a Nobel Prize in 1936, but that had not motivated me yet to find out more about him. Now I am happy that I let the Ace talk me into giving O'Neill a try.

O'Neill's first book was a collection of 5 plays published by his father under the name `Thirst' in 1916. Some of them were staged, mostly in Provincetown. They are apprentice work and deal with O'Neill's personal agenda: drinking, tuberculosis, suicide, the sea, unstable relations, father and son conflicts.

In 1950, a publisher assembled the 5 plays of `Thirst' plus 5 others written in the 1910s under the title "Ten `Lost' Plays by Eugene O'Neill". Two of the plays were quite promising (`The Movie Man' has a Hollywood firm pay for exclusive rights to battles and executions in a Mexican uprising; `Servitude' has a woman believing naively that her favorite writer means and lives what he writes).

O'Neill became more substantial with `The Personal Equation': a four act play about a group of radicals in the time before WW1. They want to stir up the proletariat to stand together for international solidarity. (That was not to happen, as we know. Instead, when the war began, the proletarians of all nations all flogged to their respective flags.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By David Schweizer VINE VOICE on July 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It isn't clear who would be apt to read this volume of early plays by O'Neill. These days, drama departments seem to assign new plays by unknown playwrights, as though the professors were in the pay of the publishers. Why order books by dead writers? These plays, however, are much more useful, I should think, for the aspiring playwright because they are exercises of a young dramatic master in his early stage of apprenticeship. He is learning his craft and writing his way to mastery. They are marvelous models of an immature writer. They are not perfect specimens, not intimidating masterworks, but slight, flawed works that any playwright might feel inspired by. They are awkward, rough, even stale, but each seeks to perform a dramatic task. O'Neill was very conscious of what he sought to do. These are not entertainments. Read them, learn from them, learn not to write this badly, and you'll be on your way.
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By RideMystery on April 24, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a collection of amazing plays. We see the plays that really got Eugene O'Neill on the scene. These plays are the plays wrote during his time at Provincetown Playhouse under Susan Glaspell. Simply Amazing. Each one offers a unique eccentric view, and others are simply great.
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