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Long Day's Journey into Night 2nd Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 129 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

Harold Bloom is a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University and a former Charles Eliot Norton Professor at Harvard. His more than thirty books include The Best Poems of the English Language, The Art of Reading Poetry, and The Book of J. He is a MacArthur Prize Fellow, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the recipient of many awards and honorary degrees, including the Academy s Gold Medal for Belles Lettres and Criticism, the International Prize of Catalonia, and the Alfonso Reyes Prize of Mexico.
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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: 5 x 0.6 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (129 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,845 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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By A Customer on September 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
Long Day's Journey into Night is the play in which Eugene O'Neill, as he says in the dedication, had to "face [his] dead at last" by writing about the tragic dysfunctions of James, Mary, Jamie, and Edmund Tyrone, characters based respectively on O'Neill's father, mother, and brother, and O'Neill himself. It is set entirely at the O'Neill residence and takes place over the course of the day on which the family doctor confirms that 23 year-old Edmund has tuberculosis and must go to a sanatorium. There is relatively little action in the play aside from that; most of the dialogue relates to the other members of the Tyrone family facing the various problems that haunt them every day of their lives: Mary is addicted to morphine; Jamie is an alcoholic and at 33 seems unlikely to amount to anything; and James also has an alcohol problem but more importantly is still bitter about his childhood, which was cut short when he was obliged to go to work at a machine shop at the age of 10 because of the departure of his father.
The whole Tyrone family is in a state of despair, and it's hard to think of an author better at capturing despair than O'Neill (in no small part, one suspects, because he came of age in the sort of environment depicted in this play). O'Neill was certainly bitter about his past, but, importantly, he doesn't lose perspective. Although the way the Tyrones treat each other ranges from neutral to downright cruel, O'Neill does a splendid job of balancing this against the fact that they all love each other deeply and feel very unnerved whenever they realize that they're treating each other unfairly.
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Format: Paperback
I read the play when I was 19. I stumbled upon it on a dime rack at the library. One day, I was moving and had some time on my hands until the movers arrived to haul away my stuff. I pulled out my copy and was never the same again. I sat on the floor and read from the late morning to dusk--when the light was no longer sufficient to read by. I hadn't noticed that my shoulder had begun to ache or that my throat was screaming for water, I was absorbed in the play as if I was receiving a vision. Anyone who claims that the play is not well-written doesn't understand literature, nor have they seen the staged production. (I'd highly recommend the movie with Katherine Hepburn). The honesty of the playwright will put you through an emotional ringer that is difficult to detach yourself from long after the reading is done. The fog horn, the deception, the cutting words of the players all haunt your dreams. This is a masterpiece.
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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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