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Artovsky Millensky

Andrew O’Hagan: The Misfit, 1 January 2009

Arthur Miller, 1915-62 
by Christopher Bigsby.
Weidenfeld, 739 pp., £30, November 2008, 978 0 297 85441 8
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... Even as late as the 1950s, at the height of his fame as a playwright, Arthur Miller would periodically leave his nice house to hang around the dockyards. He had worked for two years in the 1930s at a car parts warehouse, where he first encountered anti-semitism and suspicion. Reading Russian novels on his way into work, he found, when he considered it later, that the workers ‘feared his intelligence, his application, his ambition and his thrift, taking all these as tokens of his Jewish identity ...
Timebends: A Life 
by Arthur Miller.
Methuen, 614 pp., £17.95, November 1987, 0 413 41480 9
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Vivien Leigh: The Life of Vivien Leigh 
by Alexander Walker.
Weidenfeld, 342 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 297 79118 4
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... Pursuing the truth about the McCarthyite witch-hunt via 17th-century Salem, Arthur Miller was one day transfixed by an etching in a library. It had been made by an eyewitness of the original trials, and showed a bearded judge with arms upraised in horror as he watched a covey of girls screaming and clawing at invisible tormentors ...

Back to Reality

David Edgar: Arthur Miller and the Oblong Blur, 18 March 2004

Arthur MillerA Life 
by Martin Gottfried.
Faber, 484 pp., £25, October 2003, 0 571 21946 2
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... In his 1987 autobiography, Arthur Miller tells of a conversation with a Kentucky farmer about the Holy Ghost. Pressed to give a definition of the most mysterious element in the Trinity, the farmer replied: ‘I figure it’s sort of an oblong blur.’ In a later interview, Miller used the same phrase to describe the political mood of the late 1970s: ‘We were living in what to me was a kind of oblong blur ...

‘I’m glad what I done’

Gavin Millar, 13 October 1988

A Life 
by Elia Kazan.
Deutsch, 848 pp., £17.95, June 1988, 0 233 98292 2
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... pioneer interpreter of and midwife to theatre work by Clifford Odets, Sam Behrman, Robert Ardrey, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Robert Anderson and William Inge. He did the same in the cinema with Williams, Robert Sherwood, Inge, Steinbeck and Schulberg. Though he modestly disclaims more than typecast competence on the boards, it should be ...

Instant Depths

Michael Wood, 7 July 1994

The Cryptogram 
by David Mamet.
The Ambassador's Theatre
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A Whore’s Profession: Notes and Essays 
by David Mamet.
Faber, 412 pp., £12.99, June 1994, 0 571 17076 5
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... The earlier plays of David Mamet seemed to spring from a meeting between Arthur Miller and Harold Pinter, as if the characters from The Caretaker or The Homecoming had caught the American anxieties of Death of a Salesman. Pinter is also never far from the later plays, and he directed Oleanna in London; but other, more oblique influences now hover in the air ...

Short Cuts

Andrew O’Hagan: Myths of Marilyn, 8 July 2004

... who’ve given it a go: her New York maid (Lena Pepitone), two of her husbands (James Dougherty, Arthur Miller), her half-sister (Berniece Miracle), her stalkers (Robert Slatzer, James Haspiel), her saviours (Gloria Steinem, Kate Millett), her driver of one summer (Colin Clark), her coroner (Thomas Noguchi), to say nothing of half a dozen big novelists ...

A Rumbling of Things Unknown

Jacqueline Rose: Marilyn Monroe, 26 April 2012

... it might have been because he began by showing no interest in her; he had gone to interview Arthur Miller just before filming started on The Misfits, which would be Monroe’s last finished film. ‘I’ve seen you talk,’ he reports her saying, ‘to everyone but me.’ In fact he couldn’t forgive her for having turned ...

Short Cuts

Jeremy Harding: ‘Inside the Dream Palace’, 6 February 2014

... author of Netherland. Largely it’s the names, not the work. You almost get the impression that Arthur Miller might have written After the Fall there, but it was mostly done in Connecticut; or that Kerouac might have written On the Road there, but that was mostly done on West 20th. Wolfe’s two posthumous novels, The Web and the Rock and You Can’t ...

I adore your moustache

James Wolcott: Styron’s Letters, 24 January 2013

Selected Letters of William Styron 
edited by Rose Styron and R. Blakeslee Gilpin.
Random House, 643 pp., £24.99, December 2012, 978 1 4000 6806 7
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... to the life, said not enough money was coming in just now, wanted to get unused to the money. Arthur Miller a bit tight addressing me as usual on the subject of his latest openings. Benevolent, even comradely in a Jewish-1915 way, but would never think of saying a word, asking a word, about anyone else’s work … Caroline Kennedy (Schlossberg) was ...

Solitude and Multitude

Tony Gould, 13 February 1992

Pablo Neruda: Absence and Presence 
by Luis Poirot, translated by Alastair Reid.
Norton, 185 pp., £25, March 1991, 0 393 02770 8
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Adios, Poeta 
by Jorge Edwards.
Tusquets Editores, 335 pp., ptas 1,800, November 1990, 84 7223 191 7
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... episode of the last period of Neruda’s life. In 1966, he went to New York at the invitation of Arthur Miller and read poems highly critical of American involvement in Vietnam at a conference of the International PEN Club (to which Cuban writers were also invited, but at which they failed to appear), and on his way back to Chile he stopped off in Lima ...

Khrush in America

Andrew O’Hagan: Khrushchev in America, 8 October 2009

K Blows Top 
by Peter Carlson.
Old Street, 327 pp., £9.99, July 2009, 978 1 905847 30 3
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... lunch in the Twentieth Century Fox commissary. She passed on greetings from her husband, Arthur Miller, and later said: ‘he looked at me the way a man looks on a woman.’ The studio head Spyros Skouras took Khrushchev on with an argument about capitalism. Judy Garland wanted more drinks. Elizabeth Taylor said she wouldn’t have missed it for ...

The Court

Richard Eyre, 23 September 1993

The Long Distance Runner 
by Tony Richardson.
Faber, 277 pp., £17.50, September 1993, 0 571 16852 3
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... causes left’? Until the birth of the English Stage Company, the post-war British theatre was, as Arthur Miller has said, ‘hermetically sealed off from life’ – and from the American theatre. When Look Back in Anger was produced Miller had written Death of a Salesman, The Crucible, A View from the Bridge and All ...

Rainy Nights

Sylvia Clayton, 1 March 1984

Sidney Bernstein 
by Caroline Moorehead.
Cape, 329 pp., £12.95, January 1984, 0 224 01934 1
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... this country to admire Paul Klee. He has a taste for ballet, for the plays of Sean O’Casey and Arthur Miller and the films of Eisenstein. He has contrived to be a lifelong socialist and a millionaire entrepreneur, to believe in democracy and have the reputation of running his company like a tsar. He is involved in many charities, here and in Israel. A ...

Tomorrow they’ll boo

John Simon: Strindberg, 25 October 2012

Strindberg: A Life 
by Sue Prideaux.
Yale, 371 pp., £25, February 2012, 978 0 300 13693 7
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... One might say that his was either the maddest form of sanity or the sanest form of madness. Arthur Miller called him ‘the mad inventor of modern theatre’, in a useful oversimplification. Carl Larsson’s portrait of Strindberg, on the book jacket, essentially in sepia but with rosy lips and penetratingly blue eyes (‘the most beautiful ...

Poets and Pretenders

John Sutherland, 2 April 1987

The Great Pretender 
by James Atlas.
Viking, 239 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 9780670814619
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The Position of the Body 
by Richard Stern.
Northwestern, 207 pp., $21.95, November 1986, 0 8101 0730 9
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The Setting Sun and the Rolling World 
by Charles Mungoshi.
Heinemann, 202 pp., £10.95, February 1987, 0 434 48166 1
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Conversations with Lord Byron on Perversion, 162 Years after his Lordship’s Death 
by Amanda Prantera.
Cape, 174 pp., £9.95, March 1987, 9780224024235
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... in the land. My father deplored Howard Johnson’s and the House of Pancakes, Jack Paar and Arthur Godfrey, Leon Uris and Herman Wouk. When Dwight Macdonald’s famous essay ‘Masscult and Midcult’ was published in Partisan Review, he was ecstatic, chuckling over Macdonald’s assault on the pretensions of those contemptible middlebrows Thornton ...

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