In 1949, when the esteemed critic and director Harold Clurman ap-proached several publishers with the idea of writing a biography of Eugene O’Neill, one dismissed him with, “Who cares about him today?” Had it not been for José Quintero’s productions of The Iceman Cometh and Long Day’s Journey Into Night in 1956, we might still not care about him. It is a truism that an American writer’s reputation often reaches its nadir near or at the time of his death. Herman Melville is only the most extreme example; F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway were also considered old-hat when they died, if they were considered at all.1
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