Saturday, February 12, 2005

Arthur Miller

Arthur Miller

I found out last night when I was reading the BBC site that Arthur Miller had died on Thursday. I can't say that I'm massively versed in his work, but an interview with him which I read five or six months ago profoundly affected me. He was talking about the fact that he was 89 and yet still wrote everyday. And his reason was quite simply that he still had something to say. When he no longer had anything to say he would stop writing. And I think that is the most beautiful, eloquent statement on being a writer that I have ever heard. Obvious it may seem but I think within that statement is what it is to be a great writer. And more especially a great playwright. It is, emphatically, having something to say.
I think the best way I can sum up Miller is to quote my own favourite living playwright, David Hare, who once again manages to capture exactly what I feel on the subject:
"Arthur was the last of the three great theatrical voices of the American century - O'Neill, Williams, Miller. Arthur's special achievement was to make political and social plays which belonged on Broadway and yet were also powered to reach out into America and way beyond."

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