News Article

Arthur Miller

Here's what the entertainment world will miss most about the Pulitzer Prize winning playwright

Brian Dennehy remembers Arthur Miller

Oct. 17, 1915 - Feb. 10, 2005

The enormous popularity of Arthur Miller's plays — All My Sons, A View From the Bridge, The Crucible, and many others — confounded many elitists, but for millions of people around the world they have been the very definition of art as a shared intellectual and emotional experience. But the surpassing importance of Arthur Miller lies not in the number of his plays or his passionate morality, or even in his brave and constant liberalism. His greatest gift to us was his poetry, his lyricism, the evergreen resonance of his writing. At the end of Death of a Salesman [for which Dennehy won a 1999 Tony Award], Willy Loman lies in his grave, driven to suicide by demons, real and imaginary. His old friend Charley speaks: ''You don't understand: 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.'' Thanks, Arthur, for sharing your dreams. (Miller died of congestive heart failure in Roxbury, Conn.)

Originally posted Dec 02, 2005 Published in issue #856-857 Dec 30, 2005 Order article reprints