The University Record, October 28, 1998

Arthur Miller focus of MQR issue

By Ginger Zabel
News and Information Services

Arthur Miller, one of the University’s most famous alumni, is featured in the Michigan Quarterly Review (MQR) special fall edition.

MQR, the U-M’s interdisciplinary literary journal, discusses Miller’s personal journey from Brooklyn manual laborer during the depths of the Depression, to University student, to successful Broadway playwright.

As an undergraduate, Miller won two Hopwood awards for playwriting and credits them as being instrumental in boosting his confidence that some day he would hear his own words from the Broadway stage. Ten years later Miller wrote Death of a Salesman. Now in its 50th year, the golden anniversary creates an occasion to focus on this well-known playwright.

Laurence Goldstein, editor of MQR and professor of English, says that the proposed establishment of an Arthur Miller Theater next year adds significance to the timing of a special issue.

The special edition of MQR includes a playwright’s forum on Death of a Salesman. Twenty eminent playwrights comment about its artistry as well as about the impact of Miller’s work on individuals, the profession and audiences over the past 50 years.

Miller’s reflections on the impact of his own work include details about the time in which he wrote, the Cold War mentality, consumerism, the way he created the main character (Willy Loman), and why he thinks his most well-known play continues to stand the test of time and culture as it is performed around the world.

MQR also features several full-length essays on Miller from some of the world’s most distinguished authorities on his work. In addition to Goldstein, John Barth, Christopher Bigsby and Brenda Murphy uncover aspects of Miller and his famous character, Willy Loman.

Inge Morath, Miller’s wife, provided a portfolio of 16 photographs that capture images of Miller in his vegetable garden and study as well as photos of productions of The Crucible, Playing for Time, After the Fall, Broken Glass, and Miller’s most recent play, Mr. Peter’s Connections.

Plays, fiction, poetry and book reviews that focus on themes similar to those investigated by Miller, round out this comprehensive account of his key works and career.

MQR publishes essays, reviews, poetry and fiction that reflect the interdisciplinary nature of scholarship at the U-M. Issues are available at bookstores, or by calling the MQR office at 764-9265.


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