May 11, 2005


Remembering Arthur Miller, a Playwright of Conviction (JASON ZINOMAN,
May 10, 2005, NY Times)

Friends, family and a distinguished roster of American playwrights - Edward Albee, Tony Kushner and John Guare, among others - gathered in the Majestic Theater yesterday to honor Arthur Miller, who died in February at 89.

Mr. Miller was celebrated as a man of rock-solid integrity and political conviction, with a firm belief in the transformative power of theater. Providing the opening and closing remarks was the Rev. William Sloane Coffin Jr., a friend of Mr. Miller's and former senior minister at Riverside Church. "Arthur was brilliant, so funny and on occasion, strangely tender," he said.

Some of the most poignant words spoken at the memorial were, not surprisingly, Mr. Miller's own. Daniel Day-Lewis, who is married to Mr. Miller's daughter Rebecca, read from an essay in Mr. Miller's collection "Echoes Down the Corridor," and Estelle Parsons read the speech Linda Loman gives at her husband's funeral in "Death of a Salesman." Joan Copeland, Mr. Miller's sister, read from "The American Clock," a Miller play inspired by Studs Terkel's "Hard Times," in which she starred on Broadway in 1980.

Ms. Miller, a film director, read from one of Mr. Miller's poems; his son, Robert, a film producer, brought cheers when he read his father's letter to the House Un-American Activities Committee explaining why he would not name names.

Because he was a co-conspirator in a plot to overthrow our Republic?

Posted by Orrin Judd at May 11, 2005 9:24 AM

A playwright of conviction? I ddin't even know he was indicted.

Posted by: Mike Morley at May 11, 2005 9:52 AM

When will that book be written?

It's long past time for an historian with unimpeachable credentials to write the true story of the era leading up to WWII through the election of Ronald Reagan.

Would make the intrigues of ancient Byzantine or the Borgia's look like child play.

That our republic survived is a miracle.

Posted by: erp at May 11, 2005 10:00 AM

Roger Kimball at the New Criterion's blog has a response to Albee's speech.

Posted by: Jim in Chicago at May 11, 2005 12:06 PM

Edward Albee's sniggering eulogy by Roger Kimball

... There they were, those representative specimens of the left-liberal glitterati of yesteryear, a bit long in the tooth but present, preening, and accounted for at the Majestic Theater this past Sunday to remember, celebrate, and beatify that "Playwright of Conscience," Arthur "Attention Must be Paid" Miller. What a love fest. ...
But according to The New York Times, "the most emotional speech came from Mr. Albee," who dispensed with the humor and strange tenderness while "lashing out at the neoconservative New Criterion magazine because of what he called a 'vile and sniggering unsigned editorial' written about Mr. Miller after his death." Dear, dear. As the author of that billet doux, I hasten to object. "Vile"? Heavens. "Sniggering"? Well, chacun a son gout. I should prefer to describe it as disabused. "What an outpouring of pious liberal sentimentality greeted the death of the playwright and left-wing icon Arthur Miller, aged 89, last month!," I wrote in our March "Notes & Comments." Could anyone, even Mr. Edward Albee, dispute that? ...
It's swell that Mr. Albee and his pals get together and congratulate themselves on their good taste, their celebrity and the good taste and celebrity of their friends. And no one would claim that memorial services are distinguished by their adherence to truth in advertising. But really, there are limits. Before Mr. Albee started tossing around words like "vile" and "sniggering" he ought to have reflected on the vile smugness of a playwright whose career owed much more to his radical-chic political posturing than it did to his virtues as a writer. As for "sniggering", well, Mr. Albee concluded his remarks with the observation that "Arthur Miller was a writer who mattered. A lot." Now that's worth sniggering about.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 11, 2005 12:48 PM

Mike Morley:


Whew, the b.s. is piled up high in this one...seriously, folks, you wanna know the true nature of Miller's character, check out how he shut up in an institution one of his progeny born with a mental disorder (might've been Down's Syndrome; I don't remember) and never -- not once -- came by to visit.

Posted by: Matt Murphy at May 11, 2005 3:06 PM

Did Stalin visit the gulag?

Posted by: Luciferous at May 11, 2005 6:06 PM

Matt: As Peter Singer, the left's favorite philosopher has explained, the untermenschen are to be killed.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at May 11, 2005 7:12 PM
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