Arthur Miller Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 109 quotes)
I am amazed all over again by how magnified this project's importance has become, far beyond its being a play or an artwork. It is now a test of some kind; but of what, precisely? The incommunicability of the Chinese? If I can't claim to know my actors, I know them as well or as little as I would an American cast. I can no longer call up the notion of Chinese mysteriousness.
I don't say he's a great man. Willie 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 in his grave like an old dog. Attention, attention must finally be paid to such a person.
I stopped in the middle of that building and I saw? the sky. I saw the things that I love in this world. The work and the food and time time to sit and smoke. And I looked at the pen and said to myself, what the hell am I grabbing this for? Why am I trying to become what I don't want to be? What am I doing in an office, making a contemptuous, begging fool of myself, when all I want is out there, waiting for me the minute I say I know who I am! Why can't I say that, Willy?
It's a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for a two week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And still-that's how you build a future.
Property breeds lawyers, I said, forbearing to add a belief that unfortunately property now seemed the only thing palpable enough to demand the respect of governments, and perhaps was the generating clout against encroachments on the spiritual protections for speech, assembly, and so on. It might turn out that without the right to possess we are not sure we really have the right to speak and to be.
The closer they come to transcending technique and the memorization of lines--the closer to really beginning to act, in short--the more Chinese they begin to seem. Happy now approaches Miss Forsythe to pick her up in the restaurant with a wonderful formality, his back straight, head high, his hand-gestures even more precise and formal, but with a comic undertone that ironically comes closer to conveying the original American idea of the scene than when he was trying to be physically sloppy and "relaxed"--that is, imitating an American. I think that by some unplanned magic we may end up creating something not quite American or Chinese but a pure style springing from the heart of the play itself--the play as a nonnational event, that is, a human circumstance.