The Genius of O'Neill

He wrote his plays in longhand. He took his time. He followed the news; he was politically brave. He wrote of the self and also of the world. He wrote for the stage and also for publication. He was theatrical; he was dialectical. He cultivated a public image; a small crowd of remarkable people intersected with the largely antisocial playwright: Emma Goldman, John Reed, Robert Edmond Jones, Paul Robeson, George Jean Nathan, Sean O?Casey, Hart Crane and, unhappily for O?Neill, Charlie Chaplin, who married his daughter. He made friends with a few important critics. He married someone who believed in his work. Winning big prizes did not protect him from savage assault. He argued with God. He hid from the world. He exhorted himself to write better, dig deeper, and he did. —Tony Kushner
The Genius of O’Neill (Times Literary Supplement)

Here’s another good quote: “I can make no claim for O’Neill as one of the great writers, only as one of the greatest playwrights; for these two things, writing and playwriting, are not the same, and O’Neill’s work makes that clearer than any other’s.” (Kushner is the author of “Angels in America.”)