(2021-06-10 02:43:18) 下一个

Arthur Miller


Arthur Miller, one of the most notable playwriter in US history was born and grown up in NYC,but as his adopted state, CT witnessed his success during his accommodation here for over 40 years. 


Arthur Miller was often in public eye in 40s, 50s and 60s for different kinds of reason. His novel The death of a Salesman was the most popular play on stage during that period of time. He divorced Mary slattery , his first wife, who was a fellow student of him in University of Michigan and remarried with Marilyn Monroe,


As a remarkable playwright, Miller has sharp eyes.” you are the saddest girl I have ever met,” He told Monroe, and surprised, she said “ you are the only one who ever said that to me.” Perhaps he saw further than the others into her character, or perhaps the others were afraid to tell her.  


Miller’s attraction to Monroe might seem obvious. But Monroe didn’t accept the sweeping gossips. Publicly, she said “if I were nothing but a dumb blonde, he wouldn’t have married me. I read The Death of a Salesman and The Crucible. I am in love with the man, not his mind.


Miller tried to adjust Monroe’s life properly and at the very beginning, Monroe would like to follow his guide. She tried to adapt the new role, Miller’s wife, in her real life, not on screen. She played hostess to Miller’s literary friends, though she was not good at it.


Arthur and Monroe stayed in this marriage for 6 year, In 1961, they divorced.  Love is one thing, getting along is another thing. Love is easy, getting along is hard. Celebrities are just like us. I will not question the true love between Arthur and Marilyn, I believe they had good time. I can only say their marriage is a misfit, just as the novel Miller wrote and later was adapted into screen which starred Monroe and Clark Gable.


After Monroe left Arthur, Miller thought back his relationship with Monroe.  “I began to fear I was loving silence too much.” Miller wrote in his memoir.  The last time Monroe visited Miler after their divorce, under a CT dogwood, they had an uncomfortable conversation. Monroe asked awkward questions about Miller’s fruit-spraying equipment. Both silently acknowledged the misunderstanding that had brought them so much pain.  


After Monroe’s death, Miller took an ecological interest in his adopted home, spending his days planting thousands of trees on now barren farmland, reforesting the landscape and pruning the fruit trees in his orchard. In 1962, Miller married photographer Inge Morath in Milford. Morath threw herself into life at their home in Roxbury, planting trees with Arthur, taking crisp photos of the many artists, writers and actors visiting or making a home in these hills. Miller took an interest in his local community , attending town meetings and trying to help the village keep its rural charm. The Roxbury.


Meanwhile, the Litchfield Hills continued to be a destination for authors.  William Styron, novelist and essayist, the author of Lie Down in Darkness, The confessions of Nat Turner, Sophie’s choice and Darkness visible. James Baldwin, novelist, playwright, essayist, poet and activist, the author of Go Tell It on the Mountain, Notes of a Native Son. These two, one has slave-owning grandparents, one has slaved grandparents, became friends. They sat until dawn, talking, drinking, smoking and singing. Styron was struck down by depression in 1985 when he was 60. He was admitted to Yale Hospital and eventually recovered, returning to Roxbury in 1986. Based on his diary, he wrote a memoir Darkness Visible. The book was a big hit, it was widely considered one of his best and most influential works. This book helped raise awareness for depression, which was relatively unknown at that time, and since then, depression was officially listed as a mental illness.


Neighbors Styron and Miller were friends too. For decades, they talked about difference dramatic and prose fiction. Later They were joined by another Styron’s friends, awarding-winning novelist Philip Roth, who also decided to make home in the rolling Litchfield Hills. Inside a small wooden cabin of a 1790 clapboard farmhouse, the former Jersey boy wrote dozens of masterpieces.  Roth continued to produce books as time went by. He said “ My goal would be to find a big fat subject that would occupy me to the end of my life, and when I finish it I’ll die.” When I read this, I laughed. I fully understand him, I met a few person who already achieve financial freedom, but still work.” If I lay down I’ll die.”61 years old man Kirk said this to me.


Miller’s presence in Roxbury brought other actors into Litchfield hills, including Dustin Hoffman, whose portrayal of Willy Loman in the film version of Salesman has already become iconic. More writers follow too, making western Connecticut one of the most artistically dense of the whole country.


In Miller’s last years, he battled cancer, he died from heart failure in still-quiet village where he has made a “temporary home “, Miller spend more than half of his life in the countryside of CT, as what so many twenty-century nomads were looking for: a place to call home. Miller and his wife donated fifty-five acres to the Roxbury Land Trust, a clear expression of what home means: conservation, preservation, love of place. It was one way to resist the rootless attitudes of the modern world.  


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魏薇 回复 悄悄话 回复 'ibelieu' 的评论 : Thank you,It's my honor to share something you don't know and feel intersted! I read a book named Literary CT.in Recent years, I found in US there are much more authors from Northeast region than other region, many from CT. I was curious about why. After I read the book I realized what an imporant role CT has been playing in US literary history! 嗯,我也发现,坚持就会提高。谢谢老师鼓励,要再继续,有几天没练习了。这东西不能停,一停就感到退步,要重新再找回感觉。
ibelieu 回复 悄悄话 写得很好呢。Thank you for sharing this piece. I've lived in CT for almost 40 years, but it's news to me that western CT once saw such concentration of literary talent. To think that I used to go to Litchfield on business from time to time and never bothered to look up the history of that town! Well, shame on me! :) 至于写英文,只要坚持不懈,持之以恒,就能不断提高。