DEATH OF A SALESMAN

ARTHUR MILLER

Published by HEINEMANN EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS, 1968
ISBN 10: 0435225766 / ISBN 13: 9780435225766
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Synopsis: Willy Loman returns home exhausted after a cancelled business trip. Worried over Willy's state of mind and recent car accident, his wife Linda suggests that he ask his boss Howard Wagner to allow him to work in his home city so he will not have to travel. Willy complains to Linda that their son, Biff, has yet to make good on his life. Despite Biff's promising showing as an athlete in high school, he flunked senior-year math and never went to college. Biff and his brother Happy, who is temporarily staying with Willy and Linda after Biff's unexpected return from the West, reminisce about their childhood together. They discuss their father's mental degeneration, which they have witnessed in the form of his constant indecisiveness and daydreaming about the boys' high school years. Willy walks in, angry that the two boys have never amounted to anything. In an effort to pacify their father, Biff and Happy tell their father that Biff plans to make a business proposition the next day. Death of a Salesman is a 1949 play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It was the recipient of the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

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

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Bibliographic Details

Title: DEATH OF A SALESMAN
Publisher: HEINEMANN EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS
Publication Date: 1968
Binding: Soft cover
Book Condition: Good
Edition: 1st Edition.........

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Miller, Arthur
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Book Description Heinemann Educational Publishers, 1969. Paperback. Condition: Good. EX-LIBRARY. MAY HAVE USUAL LIBRARY PARAPHERNALIA. Usual signs of a well read book but good overall condition. May not look good on your bookcase after reading and probably not suitable as a present unless hard to find elsewhere SECURE DAILY POSTING FROM UK. 30 DAY GUARANTEE. Seller Inventory # mon0002569433

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Book Description The Viking Critical Library Text and Criticism / Viking, 1968, 1968. Paperback. Condition: Good. Only lightly used. Book has minimal wear to cover and binding. A few pages may have small creases and minimal underlining. Seller Inventory # G0435225766I3N00

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Book Description Heinemann Educational, 1995. Paperback. Condition: Very Good. Paperback edition in the Hereford Plays series. In overall very good condition, white cloth covers slightly rubbed to edges. Binding tight, annotations in pencil here and there and owner's name to reverse of front cover, text clean and clear throughout. Seller Inventory # 120714

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Book Description The Viking Critical Library Text and Criticism / Viking, 1968. PAPERBACK. Condition: Good. 0435225766 ex library. Seller Inventory # K0027809

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Book Description HEINEMANN EDUCATIONAL PUBLISHERS, USA, 1968. Soft cover. Condition: Good. 1st Edition......... The book is clean. No writings in the text. Book. Seller Inventory # 40687

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