23 Following


Currently reading

The Haunting of Hill House
Shirley Jackson, Laura Miller
The Mirror Empire
Kameron Hurley
The Secret History of the Mongol Queens: How the Daughters of Genghis Khan Rescued His Empire (Audio)
Jack Weatherford

Salesman in Beijing

Salesman in Beijing - Arthur Miller Going in, I think I was expecting something more analytical, more philosophical. Miller goes there occasionally, but mostly this remains his raw, day-to-day thoughts on his personal experiences directing a cross-cultural production, and it's the better book for that. It was fascinating watching his prejudices shift and unravel as the grueling rehearsal schedule draws the cast and crew all closer together. There's a fair amount of humor, too, both in the inherent irony of producing a play about the impossibility of the American Dream in a country just beginning to leap on the train of capitalism and in Miller's descriptions of trying to work around the technological limitations of a theater with equipment decades behind what he's used to.

I picked this up partly because I'd just returned from Beijing, and I was curious to compare my experiences in 2012 with older travel writing. It has a lot of that; Miller's descriptions of the people and places he visits are vivid. But it's equally interesting as a piece of literary criticism on Death of a Salesman and as a rumination on the art of theater in general.