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Long Day's Journey into Night 2nd Edition

72 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0300093056
ISBN-10: 0300093055
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"By common consent, Long Day's Journey into Night is Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece. . . . The helplessness of family love to sustain, let alone heal, the wounds of marriage, of parenthood, and of sonship, have never been so remorselessly and so pathetically portrayed, and with a force of gesture too painful ever to be forgotten by any of us."—Harold Bloom, from the foreword "Only an artist of O'Neill's extraordinary skill and perception can draw the curtain on the secrets of his own family to make you peer into your own. Long Day's Journey into Night is the most remarkable achievement of one of the world's greatest dramatists."—Jose Quintero "The play is an invaluable key to its author's creative evolution. It serves as the Rosetta Stone of O'Neill's life and art."—Barbara Gelb "The definitive edition of a 'play of old sorrow, written in tears and blood,' as O'Neill described it in dedicating it to his wife, Carlotta."—Boston Globe

About the Author

Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953), the father of American drama, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama four times and was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale University and Berg Professor of English at New York University, is the author of many books, including The Western Canon, The Anxiety of Influence and, most recently, How to Read and Why

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 2nd edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300093055
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300093056
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #36,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

96 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
The great bulk of Eugene O'Neill's work was done between about 1914 and 1933, a period which saw him win Pulitzer Prizes for Beyond The Horizon, Anna Christie, and Strange Interlude as well as create The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, Desire Under the Elms, The Great God Brown, and Mourning Becomes Electra. But around 1933 O'Neill--who struggled against physical ailments, alcoholism, and a host of personal demons--fell silent.
Although O'Neill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, he would remain silent for some ten years, leaving most to believe he had written himself out, was burned out, that his career was over. But in spite of tremendous personal issues, O'Neill continued to write in private, and during this period he would generate a string of powerful plays, many of which would not be released for performance until after his death in 1953. The legendary Long Day's Journey Into Night, closely based on his own family life, was written in the early 1940s. It was first performed in 1956--some three years after his death--at which time it too won the Pulitzer Prize.
The play presents the story of the Tyrone family. James Tyrone is a famous stage actor, now aging; his wife Mary is a delicately beautiful but sadly worn woman named Mary. Their two sons are studies in contrast: Jamie, in his late 30s, is wild--fond of wine, women, and song--and seen as a bad influence on younger Edmund, who is physically frail but intellectually sharp. The action takes place at their summer home, and begins in the morning; the family seems happy enough--but clearly there is something we do not know, something working under the surface that gives an unnatural quality to their interaction.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jessica on May 5, 2003
Format: Paperback
If one needs the ultimate example of a classic American play, I would have to say the play about the most un-classic, untypical (or is it?) American family...Eugene O'Neill's "Long Days Journey Into Night." Set in the chlostrophobic New England summer house of the Tyrone's, and spanning over the course of one day, the Tyrone family--the stingy, retired actor James, the lonely opium addicted wife Mary, drunken Jamie, and sensitive, ill Edmund--avoids, denys, confronts and retreats from all their demons, until it is finally night, and they no longer can.
Depressing, huh? Well, of course it is...but within it is something so powerful, so strangely beautiful, that the reader (or viewer) is enthralled. One sees seemingly strong James, ashamed of himself for selling out his acting abilities for financial security. Mary, lonely from James' years of touring, has turned to an opium addiction that she can not seem to confront. Jamie, from hate of his father's stinginess and his own self-blame, loses himself in alcohol and whores. And sweet, artistic, tubulcular Edmund (O'Neill's alter ego) plays witness in the deteration of his family's web of pain, denial and lies. All they want is for morning to come, another day to let the fog come in around them so they can forget again.
In a way, isn't that what we all want to do sometimes? Just forget what's going on around us, even for a while. I would recommend this play as absolutly essential to read--for the fan of the theatre, literature, or a layman. Anyone can relate to the pure, raw emotion and guilt O'Neill conveys. Buy it now, you'll thank me later.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on May 4, 2006
Format: Paperback
There's a good reason O'Neill insisted that Random House not publish this play until 25 years after his death, which would have prevented its production until 1978. The characters and the story are painfully drawn from O'Neill's own family life. Even though his immediate family members had all died, he surely was concerned about the hurt it could cause his surviving relatives and the impact of memories shared by his close friends. Random House ultimately honored the agreement but, fortunately for the history of drama, O'Neill's wife allowed the play to be published by Yale University Press and produced on Broadway in 1956, only three years after his death.

The volume is labeled here as a "second edition" but in truth it's simply a corrected edition that fixes relatively minor errors that were introduced in the 1956 publication. (Due to a production error, the first printing dropped a single line. The 61st printing in 1989 restored four lines that were dropped by the typist who retyped O'Neill's edited manuscript. Otherwise, it's the same play that was originally published fifty years ago.)

The play's power comes not from its plot; there is hardly any action at all. Instead, one sees O'Neill's family living out a single and typical day. James Tyrone, Sr., has spent his entire life playing one role in a nationally popular play, much like James O'Neill (Eugene's father), who starred in an adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo," appearing in some 4,000 performances between 1883 and 1912. Early in the play, Tyrone realizes that his wife, Mary, has suffered a relapse into her longtime morphine addiction. Similarly, just before he turned 13, Eugene O'Neill had learned of his own mother's morphine addiction (when she attempted to drown herself).
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