Monday, February 14, 2005


Arthur Miller: Literature Myth and Man of Conscience

Broadway may have dimmed its bright lights in respectful good-bye to one of its greates playwrights, but Arthur Miller, dead at 89, is praised and recognized the world over, including Cuba, where his visit in the year 2000 is still remembered.
Daily Granma published Saturday an obituary note whose last paragraph recalls Miller´s visit to Havana, together with other eight US cultural figures and the defense he made of the Cuban´s right to self-determination.
Lisandro Otero, vice president of the Cuban Writers and Artists´Union and awarded novelist said Miller will remain as the writer which with greater audacity bashed the intolerance that spread in the US during the Cold War, for fear that socialism overtook the world.
An article under his signature for on-line review Cuba Literaria, Otero says Arthur Miller dared say rigid fanatism was not only of post-war years but it had also shown itself in other times like the setting of The Witches of Salem, New England.
His work shook the conscience of intellectuals in the US at a time when a trial on the so-called “Hollywood Ten” was a display of ideological repression, says Lisandro Otero who recalls having met the playwright in October 1986 when Kirguizian novelist Chinguiz Aitmatov led a group of intellectuals at the invitation of Mikhail Gorbatchev.
From the US attended Arthur Miller, black novelist James Baldwin, Nobel Prize winner Claude Simon, Russian playwright Peter Ustinov and futurologist Alvin Toffler and we were to witness the first hints of Gorbatchev´s theories on “perestroika”, to have such disastrous consequences for socialism in Eastern Europe.
Contrary to Truman Capote and Norman Mailer, Miller succeeded in judging and condemning the two most conspicuous monsters of his time: intolerance and the cruelty of daily life in a hostile environment, asserts Otero.
US newspapers like the Chicago Tribune compared Miller to Eugene O´Neill and Tennessee Williams. Another consulted playwright even said Miller´s work is as significant as Anton Chekhov´s.
Whatever rank he may be given in theater and literature history, Arthur Miller will be remembered as an undisputed man of conscience.
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