Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Death of a Salesman

Academic journal article The Arthur Miller Journal

Death of a Salesman

Article excerpt

Death of a Salesman Audio CD (2011) Directed by Eric Simonson

Who, if anybody, should buy L.A. Theatre Works production of Death of a Salesman? If you are reading this, you probably know this play very well-so why do you want another version, an audio version? Maybe a version to listen to in your car? One problem with that; the play more or less begins and ends with car crashes and that could negatively impact your driving! Maybe you teach it-so a good question would be whether or not this version might help your students? Could you recommend this to someone who has not seen the play, maybe on her way to see it for the first time? When I was a student,, I would read Shakespeare by listening to recordings of the play as I read them. The practice prevented the constant back and forth between text and footnotes, which otherwise plagued my reading. Obviously, Death of a Salesman would require far fewer footnotes than Two Gentlemen of Verona, but a student reading could still benefit from hearing it read aloud to enhance their reading. Also, the enforced focus on the play's words really brings out the often- overlooked poetry of its language.

One should pity the poor reviewer tasked to give feedback on an audio recording: you can usually get two or three paragraphs out of the scenery, lighting, costumes, etc. Here you have the words, the whole words, and nothing but the words. Since this work was meant to seen as well as heard, the audience misses out on Miller's single most striking visual: the development of Brooklyn, which seems to permanently cut the Lomans off from the sun. …

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