(K. Brent Tomer),
PEOPLE have been losing literature for as long as they’ve been writing the stuff. Accident and war, censorship and self-doubt, careless estates and callous posterity—all have ransacked the world’s library. Some losses are physical and irreversible (ask Gogol, Strindberg or Larkin about fire). Some works go missing, presumed permanently. Others are lost because the author says so, and more often than not the public is happy to take his or her word for it. These are perhaps the most problematic: they are lost because no one wants them found.
In October this year, Sean Turner, a British theatre director, announced he had tracked down the little-known, never-performed first play of Arthur Miller, which he planned to stage as part of the centenary celebrations of Miller’s birth. This week, with the blessing of the Miller estate, “No Villain” received its world premiere at a small fringe theatre above a pub in London called the Old Red Lion. Although the production was by some counts 79 years late, the mood was jolly. Guests drank champagne while a band played “We’ll Meet Again”.
Mr Miller was a 20 year-old sophomore at the…Continue reading