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Magnum OpusThe Cycle Plays of Eugene O'Neill$
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Zander Brietzke

Print publication date: 2021

Print ISBN-13: 9780300248470

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: January 2022

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300248470.001.0001

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The Remainder in the Middle

The Remainder in the Middle

(p.67) Chapter Three The Remainder in the Middle
Magnum Opus

Zander Brietzke

Yale University Press

O’Neill definitively completed A Touch of the Poet and composed a fourth and final draft for that expressed purpose in 1942. The status of More Stately Mansions is more problematic. Scholars have mostly concluded that O’Neill meant to destroy the play and only inadvertently sent the original typescript to Yale as part of his archive. Although O’Neill labeled the play “unfinished,” evidence from the typescript, supported by O’Neill’s Work Diary and Carlotta’s personal diary proves Martha Gilman Bower’s thesis that More Stately Mansions is fully revised and whole. O’Neill wrote in longhand and Carlotta typed an extremely lengthy drama during an intense and dynamic period of a little less than one year. In the 1980s, Bower collated O’Neill’s handwritten edits with Carlotta’s much-revised typescript to create a master text—one that Carlotta would have produced if she had typed the entire 279-page manuscript yet again. Yale University Press published Bower’s unexpurgated version of More Stately Mansions with A Touch of the Poet in 2004. The 568 pages of a single volume reveal the substantial remains of the Cycle.

Keywords:   A Touch of the Poet, More Stately Mansions, Yale University Press, Work Diary, Carlotta O’Neill, Martha Gilman Bower, Cycle, Typescript, Unfinished, unexpurgated

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