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Three Plays: Desire Under The Elms, Strange Interlude, Mourning Becomes Electra Paperback – International Edition, October 31, 1995
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From the Inside Flap
These three plays exemplify Eugene O'Neil's ability to explore the limits of the human predicament, even as he sounds the depths of his audiences' hearts.
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 US theater. By 1914 he had written 12 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, A Moon for the Misbegotten). O'Neill is a four-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and he was awarded the Nobel Prize in literature in 1936.
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This much I remember from my high school English classes, but it would have been nice had this edition included a little critical introduction discussing the playwright's influences - or explaining just how in holy hell anyone ever managed to stage Strange Interlude when it's nine bloody acts long. That's 185 pages, boys and girls. Unless showrunners trimmed the thing by removing all the dialogue asides, sitting through that must have felt like sitting through Les Miserables...twice.
Still, you have to give O'Neill credit for having the stones to tackle a complete re-working of Aeschylus's Orestia and create the intermittently fabulous Mourning Becomes Electra, which was easily the highlight of the three plays collected here. It's fascinating to read MBE immediately after its source material, if only because it makes you speculate what the Orestia will look like two thousand years from now when the next talented guy decides to retell it to reflect the hang-ups of his day.
I have seen it as an e book offered by Barnes & Noble for their Nook e reader. However, I do NOT own a Nook device, and do NOT want to own one.
As a devoted fan of Amazon Kindle, I surely wish that you had Mourning Becomes Electra in Kindle e book.
The two other plays are well worth the experience of reading and/or seeing on stage. Mourning Becomes Electra, based on the Greek Electra myth, is especially wonderful. Its set in post civil war america and like Strange Interlude its length makes it a rare theatre treat to see performed on stage.
Most recent customer reviews
The book arrived in very good condition and - as usual - in a most timely manner.
mourning becomes electra , strange interlude, required reading
for all playwrights of our era.