Eugene O'Neill and Oriental Thought: A Divided Vision

By James A. Robinson | Go to book overview

3
Northwest Passages

Eugene O'Neill did not stand alone among modern dramatists in his interest in the Orient. The Nōh plays of W. B. Yeats, the alienation effects of Bertolt Brecht (derived partly from Chinese theatre), the revolutionary manifesto of Antonin Artaud that coalesced after he viewed the Balinese dancers--all demonstrate the impact of Eastern theatre on some of our most innovative drama theorists and playwrights. O'Neill differs from the above artists in that Eastern dramaturgy did not affect the form of his plays, which remained (for all his experimentation) essentially Western. But Oriental mystical approaches to time, personality and ultimate reality influenced his vision in deep and subtle ways. In this he resembles several great modern poets--notably Yeats and Eliot--who explored Eastern religion to escape the twin Western burdens of time and self, and to discover a God responsive to modern needs. As James Baird has observed, numerous modern poets have been "unable to discover in recent Western culture life symbols to answer the demands of feeling," and consequently have looked to the Orient, "perhaps fully hopeful of rebirth, but at least intent upon finding substitutions for what has been lost in the West."1O'Neill shared their despair and desires. Unable to respond to a Christian God declared dead by his favorite philosopher, Nietzsche, he sought sustenance in Indian and Chinese mystical systems, hoping to satisfy his spiritual yearnings through discovery of a timeless and self-less Nirvana.

____________________
1
"Critical Problems in the Orientalism of Western Poetry," in Asia and the Humanities; Papers presented at the Second Conference on Oriental-Western Literary

-32-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Eugene O'Neill and Oriental Thought: A Divided Vision
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Epigraph xi
  • 1 - A Divided VIsion 1
  • 2 - Journeys East 10
  • 3 - Northwest Passages 32
  • 4 - A Western Passage to the East 85
  • 5 - Oriental Thoughts for A Religious Theatre 120
  • 6 - Journeys Home 168
  • Bibliography 189
  • Index 197
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this book
  • Bookmarks
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
/ 201

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.