Me M o ry a nd Guilt Parenting in t racy Letts's August: OsAge COunty and eugene O'neiLL's LOng DAy's JOurney IntO nIght Elizabeth Fifer How does a copy relate to its original? First it draws attention back. Questions about inspiration and originality blur the links between the two. Tracy Letts's August: Osage County (2008) does not try to replicate Eugene O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night (written 194041; produced 1956), but his borrowings create the shiver of recognition: a family reunited, the exposing of hidden secrets and truths about characters, contrasts between the aspirations of one generation and the failure to realize them in the next, a doomed matriarch, a tragic patriarch. All this combines to create something not quite unexpected. In many ways the Westons in Letts's play echo and parallel the Tyrones in O'Neill's, written more than half a century earlier, as has been observed since the first production of the play. E. Teresa Choate writes that it is "blatantly derivative" of O'Neill's play, as well as "of Arthur Miller's Death of a Salesman, Lillian Hellman's Little Foxes, Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, and Beth Henley's Crimes of the Heart."1 Edward Sobel, Steppenwolf
Eugene O'Neill Review – Penn State University Press
Published: Sep 11, 2013
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