The Theater: Doom Music

On June 21, 1939, Carlotta Monterey O'Neill, third wife of Eugene O'Neill, made the following diary entry: "A hot, sleepless night. Gene talks to me for hours—about a play (in his mind) of his mother, father, his brother and himself." That play was to be Long Day's Journey Into Night, the greatest drama ever written by an American. Apart from its power, honesty, wisdom, passion and compassion, the play is a notable example of how an act of personal exorcism—"to face my dead," as O'Neill put it—can emerge as an enduring work of art....

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