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Oscar Wilde and Arthur Miller

It's a time for celebrating some of the classics this month on October 16th and 17th with the birthdays of popular playwrights and novelists, Oscar Wilde and Arthur Miller, approaching.

Oscar Wilde is most known for his play The Importance of Being Earnest, and Arthur Miller is renowned for his play The Crucible, which he received a Tony for, and drama The Death of a Salesman, which earned him the Pulitzer Prize in 1949. If you are interested in these birthday gentlemen, try the following titles:

The impoThe Importance of Being Earnest book coverrtance of being Earnest by Oscar Wilde ; critical material selected and introduced by Henry Popkin Call Number 822.8 WI

Wilde's most popular play is considered his wittiest and finest comedy. The play's subtitle, "A Trivial Comedy for Serious People" hints at its clever wordplay, ingenious epigrams, and sly British humor. Two English gentlemen use the same slant when meeting women, by saying their name is Earnest. Everything is going well until both men fall in love with the same girl, using the same a.k.a. It is a story of multiple mistaken identities--both deliberate and unintentional- and what ultimately becomes a hilarious exercise in keeping everyone's name and pseudonym straight. First performed in 1895, it has enduring appeal as dramatic literature and in live theatrical performance. This edition includes an appendix with Wilde's earlier versions of the play and deleted scenes that illustrate Wilde's creative process.

The Crucible cover

The Crucible: screenplay by Arthur Miller  Call Number 791.43 MI

This masterpiece of American drama is set during the witch hunts in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692. The Crucible recounts the vengeance, mass hysteria, and collective evil that poisoned this small town and its people.


DeathDeath of a Salesman book cover of a Salesman by Arthur Miller; text and criticism edited by Gerald Weales  Call Number 812.52 MI

Willy Loman, the protagonist of Death of a Salesman , has spent his life following the American way, living out his belief in salesmanship as a way to reinvent himself. But somehow the riches and respect he covets have eluded him. At age 63, he searches for the moment his life took a wrong turn, the moment of betrayal that undermined his relationship with his wife and destroyed his relationship with Biff, the son in whom he invested his faith. Willy lives in a fragile world of elaborate excuses and daydreams, conflating past and present in a desperate attempt to make sense of himself and of a world that once promised so much. Since it was first performed in 1949, Arthur Miller's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama about the tragic shortcomings of an American dreamer has been recognized as a milestone of the theater. This Viking Critical Library edition of Death of a Salesman contains the complete text of the play, typescript facsimiles, and extensive critical and contextual material including: Conflicting reviews about its opening night by Robert Garland, Harold Clurman, Eleanor Clark, and others Five articles by Miller on his play, including "Tragedy and the Common Man" and his "Introduction to Collected Plays " Critical essays by John Gassner, Ivor Brown, Joseph A. Hynes, and others General essays on Miller by William Weigand, Allan Seager, and others Analogous works by Eudora Welty, Walter D. Moody, Tennessee Williams, and Irwin Shaw The stage designer's account, presented in selections from Designing for the Theatre by Jo Mielziner An in-depth introduction by the editor, a chronology, a list of topics for discussion and papers, and a bibliography.



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