Zitate von Arthur Miller

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Arthur Miller

Geburtstag: 17. Oktober 1915
Todesdatum: 10. Februar 2005

Arthur Asher Miller war ein amerikanischer Schriftsteller. Arthur Miller gilt als wichtiger gesellschaftskritischer Dramatiker der neueren Zeit. Seine sozial- und zeitkritischen Dramen wenden sich gegen den so genannten American Way of Life, bei dem der berufliche Erfolg im Mittelpunkt steht. Immer wieder stellte Miller die ethische Verpflichtung des Einzelnen in den Vordergrund.

Zitate Arthur Miller

„Wir hatten es beide nicht geschafft, die Zauberformel zu finden, die das Leben des anderen hätte verändern können.“

—  Arthur Miller

über seine gescheiterte Ehe mit Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte, Nr. 4/1993

„Das Leben ist ein Kampf. Und solange du kämpfst, bist du nicht tot. Die Toten haben keine Kämpfe mehr.“

—  Arthur Miller

im Interview mit Matthias Matussek. Der Spiegel Nr. 52/1992 vom 21. Dezember 1992 http://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/print/d-13682910.html

„Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.“

—  Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Willy
Death of a Salesman (1949)

„Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense.“

—  Arthur Miller

Why I Wrote 'The Crucible in The New Yorker (21 October 1996) https://archive.is/20130630000741/www.newyorker.com/archive/content/?020422fr_archive02
Kontext: Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.

„Sit down, Willy.“

—  Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Charley
Death of a Salesman (1949)

„The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities.“

—  Arthur Miller

On The Crucible, in a 1987 interview; as quoted in "Arthur Miller, Moral Voice of American Stage, Dies at 89" by Marilyn Berger in The New York Times (11 February 2005) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/11/theater/newsandfeatures/11cnd-miller.html?ei=5070&en=3842d0df3195ba4c&ex=1148356800&adxnnlx=1148209567-ZnjnGzbndB3P1XvCU5BNDg&pagewanted=all&position=
Kontext: I was very moved by that play once again when the Royal Shakespeare Company did a production that toured the cathedrals of England. Then they took it to Poland and performed it in the cathedrals there, too. The actors said it changed their lives. Officials wept; they were speechless after the play, and everyone knew why. It was because they had to enforce the kind of repression the play was attacking. That made me prouder than anything I ever did in my life. The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities.

„I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing — his sense of personal dignity.“

—  Arthur Miller

Tragedy and the Common Man (1949)
Kontext: I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing — his sense of personal dignity. From Orestes to Hamlet, Medea to Macbeth, the underlying struggle is that of the individual attempting to gain his "rightful" position in his society.
Sometimes he is one who has been displaced from it, sometimes one who seeks to attain it for the first time, but the fateful wound from which the inevitable events spiral is the wound of indignity and its dominant force is indignation. Tragedy, then, is the consequence of a man's total compulsion to evaluate himself justly.

„There is a misconception of tragedy with which I have been struck in review after review, and in many conversations with writers and readers alike. It is the idea that tragedy is of necessity allied to pessimism.“

—  Arthur Miller

Tragedy and the Common Man (1949)
Kontext: There is a misconception of tragedy with which I have been struck in review after review, and in many conversations with writers and readers alike. It is the idea that tragedy is of necessity allied to pessimism. Even the dictionary says nothing more about the word than that it means a story with a sad or unhappy ending. This impression is so firmly fixed that I almost hesitate to claim that in truth tragedy implies more optimism in its author than does comedy, and that its final result ought to be the reinforcement of the onlooker's brightest opinions of the human animal.
For, if it is true to say that in essence the tragic hero is intent upon claiming his whole due as a personality, and if this struggle must be total and without reservation, then it automatically demonstrates the indestructible will of man to achieve his humanity.

„By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man.“

—  Arthur Miller

Collected Plays (1958) Introduction, Section 7
Kontext: By whatever means it is accomplished, the prime business of a play is to arouse the passions of its audience so that by the route of passion may be opened up new relationships between a man and men, and between men and Man. Drama is akin to the other inventions of man in that it ought to help us to know more, and not merely to spend our feelings.

„Officials wept; they were speechless after the play, and everyone knew why. It was because they had to enforce the kind of repression the play was attacking.“

—  Arthur Miller

On The Crucible, in a 1987 interview; as quoted in "Arthur Miller, Moral Voice of American Stage, Dies at 89" by Marilyn Berger in The New York Times (11 February 2005) http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/11/theater/newsandfeatures/11cnd-miller.html?ei=5070&en=3842d0df3195ba4c&ex=1148356800&adxnnlx=1148209567-ZnjnGzbndB3P1XvCU5BNDg&pagewanted=all&position=
Kontext: I was very moved by that play once again when the Royal Shakespeare Company did a production that toured the cathedrals of England. Then they took it to Poland and performed it in the cathedrals there, too. The actors said it changed their lives. Officials wept; they were speechless after the play, and everyone knew why. It was because they had to enforce the kind of repression the play was attacking. That made me prouder than anything I ever did in my life. The mission of the theater, after all, is to change, to raise the consciousness of people to their human possibilities.

„Few of us can easily surrender our belief that society must somehow make sense. The thought that the state has lost its mind and is punishing so many innocent people is intolerable. And so the evidence has to be internally denied.“

—  Arthur Miller

Why I Wrote 'The Crucible in The New Yorker (21 October 1996) https://archive.is/20130630000741/www.newyorker.com/archive/content/?020422fr_archive02

„A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.“

—  Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Charley
Death of a Salesman (1949)
Kontext: Nobody dast blame this man. Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.

„It's inexpressible and one must leave it until it is hardened and becomes something that has form and has some possibility of being communicated. It might take a year or two or three or four to emerge.“

—  Arthur Miller

"The State of the Theatre" an interview by Henry Brandon in Harpers 221 (November 1960)
Kontext: I cannot write anything that I understand too well. If I know what something means to me, if I have already come to the end of it as an experience, I can't write it because it seems a twice-told tale. I have to astonish myself, and that of course is a very costly way of going about things, because you can go up a dead end and discover that it's beyond your capacity to discover some organism underneath your feeling, and you're left simply with a formless feeling which is not itself art. It's inexpressible and one must leave it until it is hardened and becomes something that has form and has some possibility of being communicated. It might take a year or two or three or four to emerge.

„The way out, as the poet says, is always through.“

—  Arthur Miller

National Observer (20 January 1964)
Kontext: The best of our theater is standing on tiptoe, striving to see over the shoulders of father and mother. The worst is exploiting and wallowing in the self-pity of adolescence and obsessive keyhole sexuality. The way out, as the poet says, is always through.

„It is always and forever the same struggle: to perceive somehow our own complicity with evil is a horror not to be borne. … much more reassuring to see the world in terms of totally innocent victims and totally evil instigators of the monstrous violence we see all about us. At all costs, never disturb our innocence.“

—  Arthur Miller

"With respect for Her Agony — but with Love" in LIFE magazine (7 February 1964)
Kontext: It is always and forever the same struggle: to perceive somehow our own complicity with evil is a horror not to be borne. … much more reassuring to see the world in terms of totally innocent victims and totally evil instigators of the monstrous violence we see all about us. At all costs, never disturb our innocence. But what is the most innocent place in any country? Is it not the insane asylum? These people drift through life truly innocent, unable to see into themselves at all. The perfection of innocence, indeed, is madness.

„Tragedy enlightens — and it must, in that it points the heroic finger at the enemy of man's freedom. The thrust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts. The revolutionary questioning of the stable environment is what terrifies.“

—  Arthur Miller

Tragedy and the Common Man (1949)
Kontext: The tragic right is a condition of life, a condition in which the human personality is able to flower and realize itself. The wrong is the condition which suppresses man, perverts the flowing out of his love and creative instinct. Tragedy enlightens — and it must, in that it points the heroic finger at the enemy of man's freedom. The thrust for freedom is the quality in tragedy which exalts. The revolutionary questioning of the stable environment is what terrifies.

„Is the accuser always holy now?“

—  Arthur Miller, The Crucible

John Proctor
The Crucible (1953)
Kontext: Is the accuser always holy now? Were they born this morning as clean as God's fingers? I'll tell you what's walking Salem — vengeance is walking Salem. We are what we always were in Salem, but now the little crazy children are jangling the keys of the kingdom, and common vengeance writes the law! This warrant's vengeance! I'll not give my wife to vengeance!

„He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine.“

—  Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Charley
Death of a Salesman (1949)
Kontext: Nobody dast blame this man. Willy was a salesman. And for a salesman, there is no rock bottom to the life. He don't put a bolt to a nut, he don't tell you the law or give you medicine. He's a man way out there in the blue, riding on a smile and a shoeshine. And when they start not smiling back — that's an earthquake. And then you get yourself a couple of spots on your hat, and you're finished. Nobody dast blame this man. A salesman is got to dream, boy. It comes with the territory.

„Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.“

—  Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman

Linda
Death of a Salesman (1949)
Kontext: I don't say he's a great man. Willy Loman never made a lot of money. His name was never in the paper. He's not the finest character that ever lived. But he's a human being, and a terrible thing is happening to him. So attention must be paid. He's not to be allowed to fall into his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must be finally paid to such a person.

„I have seen too many frightful proofs in court — the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!“

—  Arthur Miller, The Crucible

John Hale
The Crucible (1953)
Kontext: Though our own hearts break, we cannot flinch; these are new times, sir. There is a misty plot afoot so subtle we should be criminal to cling to old respect and ancient friendships. I have seen too many frightful proofs in court — the Devil is alive in Salem, and we dare not quail to follow wherever the accusing finger points!

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