Eugene O'Neill's critics: voices from abroad
O’Neill’s plays have been translated into practically all major languages and have received remarkable performances in many countries. His impact has been such that since 1922, according to Tuck, “there has been an outpouring of opinions about the man, his experimental work, his universal qualities, his philosophical probings, his language, his dramatic method, and his forerunners in the theater, American as well as foreign.” As these 30 essays indicate, O’Neill was truly an international figure, stirring comment from all parts of the world.
O’Neill’s stock rose considerably in 1936 when he received the Nobel Prize. His selection was applauded in Scandinavia as it confirmed the opinions of his work held in Sweden, Denmark, and Finland. The Nobel Prize also caused the critics of France to reevaluate his work, this time much more favorably. Summing up, Tuck notes that the “articles in this anthology reflect genuine attempts to present O’Neill as faithfully as possible throughout the world. O’Neill’s plays are not,” she observes, “for any one time or any one place, as indicated by the years the essays span (1922–80) and the number of countries they represent [17 in all].”
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HUGO VON HOFMANNSTHAL Austria
Russian caricature of ONeill by Usa Gombarg
FRANK TETAUER Czechoslovakia
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