George W. Crandell. Arthur Miller: A Descriptive Bibliography. New Castle, DE: Oak Knoll Press, 2011. xii, 244pp & 1 CD-ROM. $195.
To misquote Ben Loman in Death of a Salesman, the jungle of bibliographic scholarship is dark but full of diamonds. If the intrepid scholar can avoid becoming ensnared in the undergrowth of variant editions or being mauled by misprinted citations, she may return with a rare item of value, a gem that illuminates previously-unknown facets of a writer's life and career. With the publication of Arthur Miller.. A Descriptive Bibliography, George W. Crandell, Associate Dean of the Graduate School at Auburn University and a professor of English, has handed Miller scholars a sharp new machete with which to go chopping through the jungle and, perhaps, find a gem.
Crandell is the author of numerous articles on Miller, Tennessee Williams, and Ogden Nash, and he has previously compiled descriptive bibliographies for Williams (U of Pittsburgh P, 1995) and Nash (Scarecrow Press, 1990). The current bibliography follows those previous volumes in content and organization, breaking Miller's primary works into eight categories: Separate Publications; Collected Editions; First-appearance Contributions to Books, Pamphlets, and Occasional Publications; First Appearances in Magazines and Newspapers; Translations; Publications in Braille; Music; and Blurbs. Items within the categories are generally arranged chronologically, with the exceptions of Translations--arranged alphabetically by language (Albanian to Yiddish), then by title--and Publications in Braille, arranged alphabetically by title. An Appendix reproduces images of dust jackets, covers, and title pages in black and white, while an accompanying CD-ROM includes color images of the same. These images will be especially useful to the scholar or collector trying to identify specific editions of Miller's works.
Within each category, bibliographic items are described in great detail. Section A: Separate Publications, for example, chronologically lists books, broadsides and pamphlets "wholly or substantially by Miller--including English and American first editions" (1). Each of the forty-six entries in this chapter includes a complete description of the book's binding, dust jacket, title page, copyright page, size, collation, and pagination, library holdings, and notes. The entries for Separate Publications and Collected Editions completely reproduce all text from covers, jackets, title and copyright pages, with typographical markers indicating line breaks and spacing. For collected works, Crandell reproduces the complete tables of contents to help the researcher identify the individual works contained therein.
In addition to the usual primary sources (separate publications, book chapters, pamphlets, magazine and newspaper articles, etc.) the bibliography yields a number of curiosities. Section F: Music consists of five "titles by Miller, set to music, [including] songs with lyrics by Miller and operatic works with librettos either by Miller or based upon the work of Miller" (209). …