Mamet on Art and Arthur Miller
“We are freed, at the end of these two dramas [Death of a Salesman and The Crucible], not because the playwright has arrived at a solution, but because he has reconciled us to the notion that there is no solution—that it is the human lot to try and fail, and that no one is immune from self-deception. We have, through following the course of the drama, laid aside, for two hours, the delusion that we are powerful and wise, and we leave the theater better for the rest.
”Bad drama reinforces our prejudices. It informs us of what we knew when we came into the theater—the infirm have rights, homosexuals are people, too, it's difficult to die. It appeals to our sense of self-worth, and, as such, is but old-fashioned melodrama come again in modern clothes (the villain here not black-mustachioed, but opposed to women, gays, racial harmony, etc.).
“The good drama survives because it appeals not to the fashion of the moment, but to the problems both universal and eternal, as they are insoluble.
”To find beauty in the sad, hope in the midst of loss, and dignity in failure is great poetic art.“
David Mamet in the Feb. 2005 New York Times Op-Ed ”Attention Must Be Paid," after the death of Arthur Miller a week earlier. I'd put it in a Word doc, which I kept amid other oddities in a Miscellaneous folder on my desktop, which is what I'd do before I had this blog. I found it again as I was straightening up the folder. It's a great reminder. For the thousandth time. A reminder of what art is and most of Hollywood isn't. I should have it as a wall-hanging somewhere.