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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Arthur Miller Quotes A History Talks Vol 2 Issue 1

Arthur Miller (1915-2005)
"I have made more friends for American culture than the State Department. Certainly I have made fewer enemies, but that isn't very difficult."

"A play is made by sensing how the forces in life simulate ignorance-you set free the concealed irony, the deadly joke."

"A playwright lives in an occupied country. And if you can't live that way you don't stay."

"All we are is a lot of talking nitrogen."

"Can anyone remember love? It's like trying to summon up the smell of roses in a cellar. You might see a rose, but never the perfume."

"Certainly the most diverse, if minor, pastime of literary life is the game of Find the Author."

"He wants to live on through something-and in his case, his masterpiece is his son. all of us want that, and it gets more poignant as we get more anonymous in this world."

"He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid."

"I know that my works are a credit to this nation and I dare say they will endure longer than the McCarran Act."

"I love her too, but our neuroses just don't match."

"I think now that the great thing is not so much the formulation of an answer for myself, for the theatre, or the play-but rather the most accurate possible statement of the problem."

"I understand Willy Loman's longing for immortality Willy's writing his name in a cake of ice on a hot day, but he wishes he were writing in stone."

"I'm the end of the line; absurd and appalling as it may seem, serious New York theater has died in my lifetime."

"If I have any justification for having lived it's simply, I'm nothing but faults, failures and so on, but I have tried to make a good pair of shoes. There's some value in that."

"If I see an ending, I can work backward."

"In the theatre, while you recognized that you were looking at a house, it was a house in quotation marks. On screen, the quotation marks tend to be blotted out by the camera."

"Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets."

"That is a very good question. I don't know the answer. But can you tell me the name of a classical Greek shoemaker?"

"The apple cannot be stuck back on the Tree of Knowledge; once we begin to see, we are doomed and challenged to seek the strength to see more, not less."

"The best of our theatre is standing on tiptoe, striving to see over the shoulders of father and mother. The worst is exploiting and wallowing in the self-pity of adolescence and obsessive keyhole sexuality. The way out, as the poet says, is always through."

"The closer a man approaches tragedy the more intense is his concentration of emotion upon the fixed point of his commitment, which is to say the closer he approaches what in life we call fanaticism."

"The job is to ask questions-it always was-and to ask them as inexorably as I can. And to face the absence of precise answers with a certain humility."

"The number of elements that have to go into a hit would break a computer down. the right season for that play, the right historical moment, the right tonality."

"The problem was to sustain at any cost the feeling you had in the theater that you were watching a real person, yes, but an intense condensation of his experience, not simply a realistic series of episodes."

"The structure of a play is always the story of how the birds came home to roost."

"The theatre is so endlessly fascinating because it's so accidental. It's so much like life."

"Well, all the plays that I was trying to write were plays that would grab an audience by the throat and not release them, rather than presenting an emotion which you could observe and walk away from."

"What is the most innocent place in any country? Is it not the insane asylum? These people drift through life truly innocent, unable to see into themselves at all."

"Where choice begins, Paradise ends, innocence ends, for what is Paradise but the absence of any need to choose this action?"

"Without alienation, there can be no politics."

"You cannot catch a child's spirit by running after it; you must stand still and for love it will soon itself return."

"You specialize in something until one day you find it is specialising in you."

“Don't be seduced into thinking that that which does not make a profit is without value.”

“Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.”

“Betrayal is the only truth that sticks.”

“The two most common elements in the world are hydrogen and stupidity.”

“Everything we are is at every moment alive in us.”

“If a person measures his spiritual fulfilment in terms of cosmic visions, surpassing peace of mind, or ecstasy, then he is not likely to know much spiritual fulfilment. If, however, he measures it in terms of enjoying a sunrise, being warmed by a child's smile, or being able to help someone have a better day, then he is likely to know much spiritual fulfilment. ”

“A good newspaper, I suppose, is a nation talking to itself.”

“The very impulse to write springs from an inner chaos crying for order - for meaning.”

“If you believe that life is worth living then your belief will create the fact.”

“The best work that anybody ever writes is the work that is on the verge of embarrassing him, always.”

“A character is defined by the kinds of challenges he cannot walk away from. And by those he has walked away from that cause him remorse.”

“The world is an oyster but you don't crack it open on a mattress”

“Betrayal is the only truth that sucks.”

“Great drama is great questions or it is nothing but technique. I could not imagine a theatre worth my time that did not want to change the world.”

“Self-realization and self-fulfilment are the sine qua non for human existence.”

“The enemy is within, and within stays within, and we can’t get out of within.”

“The structure of a play
is always the story of how
the birds came home to roost.

“All organisation is and must be grounded on the idea of exclusion and prohibition just as two objects cannot occupy the same space”


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