Electra

This week included, amongst other very cool things, a visit to Eugene O’Neill’s Tao House.  O’Neill lived here during WWII and it’s where he holed up, away from the noise of the stage and New York City, and wrote some of his best plays.

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Here’s his desk, in the very room where he wrote The Iceman Cometh, Mourning Becomes Electra, and Long Day’s Journey Into Night.

It was windy and cool, but what a view from the front of the house.  Could you get any writing done here?

And then these final words, which I spotted on my way out.

Happy reading and writing everybody.

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21 thoughts on “Electra

  1. lisahgolden

    Jesus, does that make me want to take up smoking. I could stand to get lost watching the smoke curl from the tip of a cigarette again…..

    1. Teri Post author

      A cigarette (or 10) and smoke-watching sound pretty good about right now. That, and a long nap.

  2. macdougalstreetbaby

    Hmmm… his corner desk reminds me of another writer’s desk. Someone who also has quite an extensive library I might add.

    1. Teri Post author

      Ha! If only I could spin a line like him.

      “None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.”
      ― Eugene O’Neill, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

  3. Rex

    My favorite book/play title of all time, “Mourning Becomes Electra.” And I always thought he wrote that in the deep south, with the strong drawl in full force. And yes, the cigarette in hand.

    1. Teri Post author

      I figured the same thing. I’m more and more enamored by how little I really know about anything.

    2. amyg

      i like the words “mourning becomes electra” too

      although, i’ve never read it. and before just now have always thought it was “morning becomes electra” (in my defense, it made since when heard with “long days journey into night”)

      1. Teri Post author

        And I thought it was Morning Becomes Elektra. I felt painfully ignorant during my visit to that house.

    1. Teri Post author

      I’m starting to wonder if any great writer has even a decent relationship with his children. It seems that, especially with the men, there are children tossed to the side and wives that serve to guard the gates and keep the writer in solitude.

      The stories of him with of all of his children are just tragic.

      1. erikamarks

        Teri, I had the same thought reading READING MY FATHER–the idea of the male writer as this eternal flame that must be sheltered in order to stay lit. And yet, there must be such a wealth of emotional depth there to write so passionately…such a curious condition–and sad, of course. Heartbreakingly so.

      2. Teri Post author

        Me too, Erika. Do you have to be a narcissistic depressive substance-abuser to be a literary genius?

  4. Lyra

    The pretty. Ahhhh.
    Now tell me more about that room. It seems lit by natural light but I can’t tell where it’s coming from. Is his desk facing a window? Can people write facing windows.
    I need a wall. Or a moving train. Okay, so I’m not too particular come to think of it.

    1. Teri Post author

      He wrote in a room with gray walls and small windows and did not face the window. He wanted it to feel like he was in the darkening fog.

  5. amyg

    i like the author pose. kinda miffed he has to have his picture taken. imagine if there was a digital camera back then—would he have stuck with that one? probably. now i want one. me sitting with my head on my fist, frowning. maybe not frowning, but definitely displeased.

    1. Teri Post author

      There’s a photo of him at the piano, smiling. It’s doesn’t look “right.” He looks to me like someone in an Edgar Allen Poe story. Mysterious and menacing.

  6. CJ

    His sense of dramatic structure rivals Shakespeare and the Greeks. There is much to learn in his plays, some of the finest of the last century.

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