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Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts, and a Requiem (Penguin Modern Classics)

Miller, Arthur Author

9780141182742: Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts, and a Requiem (Penguin Modern Classics)

In the spring of 1948, Arthur Miller retreated to a log cabin in Connecticut with the first two lines of a new play already fixed in his mind. He emerged six weeks later with the final script of "Death of a Salesman" - a painful examination of American life and consumerism. Opening on Broadway the following year, Miller's extraordinary masterpiece changed the course of modern theatre. In creating Willy Loman, his destructively insecure anti-hero, Miller himself defined his aim as being 'to set forth what happens when a man does not have a grip on the forces of life.'

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Review:

Arthur Miller's 1949 Death of a Salesman has sold 11 million copies, and Willy Loman didn't make all those sales on a smile and a shoeshine. This play is the genuine article--it's got the goods on the human condition, all packed into a day in the life of one self-deluded, self-promoting, self-defeating soul. It's a sturdy bridge between kitchen-sink realism and spectral abstraction, the facts of particular hard times and universal themes. As Christopher Bigsby's mildly interesting afterword in this 50th-anniversary edition points out (as does Miller in his memoir, Timebends), Willy is closely based on the playwright's sad, absurd salesman uncle, Manny. But of course Miller made Manny into Everyman, and gave him the name of the crime commissioner Lohmann in Fritz Lang's angst-ridden 1932 Nazi parable, The Testament of Dr. Mabuse.

The tragedy of Loman the all-American dreamer and loser works eternally, on the page as on the stage. A lot of plays made history around 1949, but none have stepped out of history into the classic canon as Salesman has. Great as it was, Tennessee Williams's work can't be revived as vividly as this play still is, all over the world. (This edition has edifying pictures of Lee J. Cobb's 1949 and Brian Dennehy's 1999 performances.) It connects Aristotle, The Great Gatsby, On the Waterfront, David Mamet, and the archetypal American movie antihero. It even transcends its author's tragic flaw of pious preachiness (which undoes his snoozy The Crucible, unfortunately his most-produced play).

No doubt you've seen Willy Loman's story at least once. It's still worth reading. --Tim Appelo

About the Author:

Arthur Miller was born in New York City in 1915 and studied at the University of Michigan. His plays include All My Sons (1947), Death of a Salesman (1949), The Crucible (1953), A View from the Bridge and A Memory of Two Mondays (1955), After the Fall (1963), Incident at Vichy (1964), The Price (1968), The Creation of the World and Other Business (1972) and The American Clock. He has also written two novels, Focus (1945), and The Misfits, which was filmed in 1960, and the text for In Russia (1969), Chinese Encounters (1979), and In the Country (1977), three books of photographs by his wife, Inge Morath. His most recent works include a memoir, Timebends (1987), and the plays The Ride Down Mt. Morgan (1991), The Last Yankee (1993), Broken Glass (1993), which won the Olivier Award for Best Play of the London Season, and Mr. Peter's Connections (1998). He has twice won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and in 1949 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 124 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In the spring of 1948, Arthur Miller retreated to a log cabin in Connecticut with the first two lines of a new play already fixed in his mind. He emerged six weeks later with the final script of Death of a Salesman - a painful examination of American life and consumerism. Opening on Broadway the following year, Miller s extraordinary masterpiece changed the course of modern theatre. In creating Willy Loman, his destructively insecure anti-hero, Miller himself defined his aim as being to set forth what happens when a man does not have a grip on the forces of life. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780141182742

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 194 x 124 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. In the spring of 1948, Arthur Miller retreated to a log cabin in Connecticut with the first two lines of a new play already fixed in his mind. He emerged six weeks later with the final script of Death of a Salesman - a painful examination of American life and consumerism. Opening on Broadway the following year, Miller s extraordinary masterpiece changed the course of modern theatre. In creating Willy Loman, his destructively insecure anti-hero, Miller himself defined his aim as being to set forth what happens when a man does not have a grip on the forces of life. Bookseller Inventory # LIB9780141182742

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd. Paperback. Book Condition: new. BRAND NEW, Death of a Salesman: Certain Private Conversations in Two Acts and A Requiem, Arthur Miller, In the spring of 1948, Arthur Miller retreated to a log cabin in Connecticut with the first two lines of a new play already fixed in his mind. He emerged six weeks later with the final script of "Death of a Salesman" - a painful examination of American life and consumerism. Opening on Broadway the following year, Miller's extraordinary masterpiece changed the course of modern theatre. In creating Willy Loman, his destructively insecure anti-hero, Miller himself defined his aim as being 'to set forth what happens when a man does not have a grip on the forces of life.'. Bookseller Inventory # B9780141182742

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