Huck Finn

scrittori e scritture; libri e riviste; racconti e raccontati

19.3.04

DALLA LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS, la recensione di una biografia di Arthur Miller, Back to Reality
David Edgar
Arthur Miller: A Life by Martin Gottfried | Faber, 484 pp, £25.00

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. There was simply no definition to the society.' At a stretch, the metaphor could also stand for the conventional view of Miller's career: a sturdy quartet of well-carpentered plays that caught the spirit of mid-century America, followed by a long, increasingly unfocused, foggy tail. Rejected in his own country, the one-time toast of Broadway has finally to rely for validation on the subsidised theatre in England.