Eugene O'neill Quotes

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I am so far from being a pessimist...on the contrary, in spite of my scars, I am tickled to death at life.
Eugene O'Neill
None of us can help the things life has done to us. They’re done before you realize it, and once they’re done they make you do other things until at last everything comes between you and what you’d like to be, and you’ve lost your true self forever.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Curiosity killed the cat, and satisfaction brought it back.
Eugene O'Neill
Why am I afraid to dance, I who love music and rhythm and grace and song and laughter? Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of the earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid to love, I who love love?
Eugene O'Neill (The Great God Brown and Other Plays)
There is no present or future-only the past, happening over and over again-now.
Eugene O'Neill (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.
Eugene O'Neill
Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.
Eugene O'Neill
Censorship of anything, at any time, in any place, on whatever pretense, has always been and always will be the last resort of the boob and the bigot.
Eugene O'Neill
It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a seagull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must be a little in love with death!
Eugene O'Neill
Be always drunken. Nothing else matters: that is the only question. If you would not feel the horrible burden of Time weighing on your shoulders and crushing you to the earth, be drunken continually. Drunken with what? With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will. But be drunken.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Man's loneliness is but his fear of life.
Eugene O'Neill
It's a great game - the pursuit of happiness.
Eugene O'Neill
Nineteenth-century preacher Henry Ward Beecher's last words were "Now comes the mystery." The poet Dylan Thomas, who liked a good drink at least as much as Alaska, said, "I've had eighteen straight whiskeys. I do believe that's a record," before dying. Alaska's favorite was playwright Eugene O'Neill: "Born in a hotel room, and--God damn it--died in a hotel room." Even car-accident victims sometimes have time for last words. Princess Diana said, "Oh God. What's happened?" Movie star James Dean said, "They've got to see us," just before slamming his Porsche into another car. I know so many last words. But I will never know hers.
John Green (Looking for Alaska)
We are such things as rubbish is made of, so let's drink up and forget it.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future, too. We all try to lie out of that but life won't let us.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Life is a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.
Eugene O'Neill
To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It's irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
The fog was where I wanted to be. Halfway down the path you can’t see this house. You’d never know it was here. Or any of the other places down the avenue. I couldn’t see but a few feet ahead. I didn’t meet a soul. Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. Out beyond the harbor, where the road runs along the beach, I even lost the feeling of being on land. The fog and the sea seemed part of each other. It was like walking on the bottom of the sea. As if I had drowned long ago. As if I was the ghost belonging to the fog, and the fog was the ghost of the sea. It felt damned peaceful to be nothing more than a ghost within a ghost.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
It wasn't the fog I minded, Cathleen. I really love fog. [...] It hides you from the world and the world from you. You feel that everything has changed, and nothing is what it seemed to be. No one can find or touch you any more.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Suppose I was to tell you that it's just beauty that's calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell which lures me, the need of freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on----in quest of the secret which is hidden over there----beyond the horizon?
Eugene O'Neill (Beyond the Horizon)
Dey's some things I don't got to be told. I kin read them in folks' eyes.
Eugene O'Neill (The Emperor Jones)
You said they had found the secret of happiness because they had never heard that love can be a sin.
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room - and God damn it - died in a hotel room.
Eugene O'Neill
Curiosity killed the cat, but satisfaction brought it back.
Eugene O'Neill
The Mad Scene. Enter Ophelia!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I hate doctors! They'll do anything... to keep you coming to them. They'll sell their souls. What's worse, they'll sell yours, and you never know it till one day you find yourself in hell.
Eugene O'Neill
Abysmal vermin that I am, I couldn't of course tell her that it was her incredible mother that I wanted to see again… I knew only as I drove through the cold, night autumn air that somewhere Freud, Sophocles and Eugene O’Neill were laughing.
Woody Allen
You can't be too careful about work. It's the most dangerous habit known to medical science.
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
God damn you, stop shoving your rotten soul in my lap!
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
Any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to be happy.
Eugene O'Neill
Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see—and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I have had my dance with Folly, nor do I shirk the blame; I have sipped the so-called Wine of Life and paid the price of shame; But I know that I shall find surcease, the rest my spirit craves, Where the rainbows play in the flying spray, 'Mid the keen salt kiss of the waves.
Eugene O'Neill
You're two of a kind, and a bad kind.
Eugene O'Neill
Writing is my vacation from living
Eugene O'Neill
But land is land, and it's safer than the stocks and bonds of Wall Street swindlers.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Happiness hates the timid! So does science!
Eugene O'Neill
it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
You're worse than decent. You're virtuous.
Eugene O'Neill
You’ll say to yourself, I’m just an old man who is scared of life, but even more scared of dying. So I’m keeping drunk and hanging on to life at any price, and what of it?
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
And I took a seat in the grandstand of philosophical detachment to fall asleep observing the cannibals do their death dance.
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself!.. And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
The past is the present, isn't it? It's the future too.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Happy roads is bunk. Weary roads is right. Get you nowhere fast. That's where I've got—nowhere. Where everyone lands in the end, even if most of the suckers won't admit it.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
In plain words, you’ve got to make up your mind to study whatever you undertake, and concentrate your mind on it, and really work at it. This isn’t wisdom. Any damned fool in the world knows it’s true, whether it’s a question of raising horses or writing plays. You simply have to face the prospect of starting at the bottom and spending years learning how to do it.
Eugene O'Neill
Everything looked and sounded unreal. Nothing was what it is. That’s what I wanted—to be alone with myself in another world where truth is untrue and life can hide from itself. —From Long Day’s Journey into Night, by Eugene O’Neill
Jerold J. Kreisman (I Hate You, Don't Leave Me: Understanding the Borderline Personality)
Why am I afraid to live, I who love life and the beauty of flesh and the living colors of earth and sky and sea? Why am I afraid of love, I who love love?.. Why was I born without a skin, O God, that I must wear armor in order to touch or to be touched?
Eugene O'Neill (The Great God Brown and Other Plays)
Then in the spring something happened to me. Yes, I remember. I fell in love with James Tyrone and was so happy for time.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
He thinks money spent on a home is money wasted. He's lived too much in hotels. Never the best hotels, of course. Second-rate hotels. He doesn't understand a home. He doesn't feel at home in it. And yet, he wants a home. He's even proud of having this shabby place. He loves it here.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
In 1922 everything changed again. The Eskimo pie was invented; James Joyce's Ulysses was printed in Paris; snow fell on Mauna Loa, Hawaii; Babe Ruth signed a three-year contract with the New York Yankees; Eugene O'Neill was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Drama; Frederick Douglass's home was dedicated as a national shrine; former heavyweight champion of the world Jack Johnson invented the wrench...
Bernice L. McFadden (Glorious)
And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience, became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see, and seeing the secret, you are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on towards nowhere for no good reason.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Well, you wanted me to be a hero in blue, so you better be resigned! Murdering doesn’t improve one’s manners!
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
I know it's useless to talk. But sometimes I feel so lonely.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
HOGAN-No, I wouldn't think it, but my motto in life is never trust anyone too far, not even myself.
Eugene O'Neill (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
On my solemn oath, Edmund, I'd gladly face not having an acre of land to call my own, nor a penny in the bank, I'd be willing to have no home but the poorhouse in my old age, if I could look back now on having been the fine artist I might have been.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Because any fool knows that to work hard at something you want to accomplish is the only way to be happy. But beyond that it is entirely up to you. You’ve got to do for yourself all the seeking and finding concerned with what you want to do. Anyone but yourself is useless to you there.
Eugene O'Neill
He recites sardonically from Rossetti. “Look in my face. My name is Might-Have-Been; I am also called No More, Too Late, Farewell.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Why can’t you remember your Shakespeare and forget the third-raters. You’ll find what you’re trying to say in him- as you’ll find everything else worth saying. 'We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep.'' - 'Fine! That’s beautiful. But I wasn’t trying to say that. We are such stuff as manure is made on, so let’s drink up and forget it. That’s more my idea.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
EDMUND: It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
The trouble with you, I think, is you are still too dependent on others. You expect too much from outside you and demand too little of yourself. You hope everything will be made smooth and easy for you by someone else. Well, it’s coming to the point where you are old enough, and have been around enough, to see that this will get you exactly nowhere. You will be what you make yourself and you have got to do that job absolutely alone and on your own, whether you’re in school or holding down a job.
Eugene O'Neill
LAVINIA: I love everything that grows simply-- up toward the sun-- everything that's straight and strong! I hate what's warped and twists and eats into itself and dies for a lifetime in shadow...
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
EDMUND: "[...] A fost o mare greșeală că m-am născut om. M-aș fi descurcat mai bine ca pescăruș ori pește. Așa, o să fiu mereu un străin care nu se simte niciodată în largul lui, care nu dorește cu adevărat și nu e dorit cu adevărat, care nu poate să-și găsească niciodată locul și care trebuie să fie tot timpul un pic indrăgostit de moarte". (Eugene O'Neill - Lungul drum al zilei către noapte)
Eugene O'Neill
If that ghost have money I tells him never to haunt you -- less'n he wants to lose it!
Eugene O'Neill (The Emperor Jones)
Curiosity kille the cat, but satisfaction brought it back
Eugene O'Neill
Where am I? What the hell difference is it? There’s plenty o’ fresh air and the moon fur a glim. Don’t be so damn pertic’lar!
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue. —Eugene O’Neill My
Donna VanLiere (The Christmas Shoes)
No matter how deep my sleep I shall hear you, and not all the power of death can keep my spirit from wagging a grateful tail. I will always love you as only a dog can.
Eugene O'Neill
Stay passed out, that's the right dope. There ain't any cool willow trees- except you grow your own in a bottle.
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
you got him alone tonight--there'll be a beautiful moon to fill him with poetry and loneliness
Eugene O'Neill (A Moon for the Misbegotten)
The man read Eugene O'Neill on the beach. He had a stash of emergency pickle juice and a pet rat. He was hardly a model of stability.
J.A. Rock (Calling the Show)
EDMUND *Then with alcoholic talkativeness You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and signing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping looking, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. the peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like a veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason! *He grins wryly. It was a great mistake, my being born a man, I would have been much more successful as a sea gull or a fish. As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a a little in love with death! TYRONE *Stares at him -- impressed. Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. *Then protesting uneasily. But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND *Sardonically The *makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I mean supposing we—the self-satisfied, successful members of society—are responsible for the injustice visited upon the heads of our less fortunate “brothers-in­Christ” because of our shameful indifference to it. We see misery all around us and we do not care. We do nothing to prevent it. Are we not then, in part at least, responsible for it? Have you ever thought of that?
Eugene O'Neill
Az a fura érzésem támadt, hogy a háborúban mindig ugyanazt az embert kell újra meg újra meggyilkolnunk, míg végül rá fogok ébredni, hogy én magam vagyok az az ember!
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
LAVINIA: He made me feel for the first time in my life that everything about love could be sweet and natural... I have a right to love!
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
If dat ghost have money, I tells him never to haunt you less'n he wants to lose it!
Eugene O'Neill (The Emperor Jones)
To deprive the derelicts of hope is right, and to sustain them in their illusory "pipe dreams" is right also.
Harold Bloom (Eugene O'Neill (Bloom's Major Dramatists))
Well, they say a good cry does you a lot of good.
Eugene O'Neill (The Straw)
I discovered early in life that living frightened me when I was sober.
Eugene O'Neill
I'm sorry I remembered out loud.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Your father goes out. He meets his friends in barrooms or at the Club. You and Jamie have the boys you know. You go out. But I’m alone. I’ve always been alone.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Dreaming, not keeping lookout, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
As it is, I will always be a stranger who never feels at home, who does not really want and is not really wanted, who can never belong, who must always be a little in love with death.
Eugene O'Neill
TYRONE [Stares at him -- impressed.] Yes, there's the makings of a poet in you all right. [Then protesting uneasily] But that's morbid craziness about not being wanted and loving death. EDMUND [Sardonically] The makings of a poet. No, I'm afraid I'm like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn't even got the makings. He's got only the habit. I couldn't touch what I tried to tell you just now. I just stammered. That's the best I'll ever do, I mean, if I live. Well, it will be faithful realism, at least. Stammering is the native eloquence of us fog people.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Now look here, Smithers. They's two kind's of stealing. They's the small kind, like what you does, and the big kind, like I does. Fo' de small stealing dey put you in jail soon or late. But fo' de big stealin' dey puts your picture in de paper and yo' statue in de Hall of Fame when you croak. If dey's one thing I learned in ten years on de Pullman cars, listenin' to de white quality talk, it's dat same fact. And when I gits a chance to use it . . . from stowaway to emperor in two years. Dat's goin' some!
Eugene O'Neill (The Emperor Jones)
LARRY--(with increasing bitter intensity, more as if he were fighting with himself than with Hickey) I'm afraid to live, am I?--and even more afraid to die! So I sit here, with my pride drowned on the bottom of a bottle, keeping drunk so I won't see myself shaking in my britches with fright, or hear myself whining and praying: Beloved Christ, let me live a little longer at any price! If it's only for a few days more, or a few hours even, have mercy, Almighty God, and let me still clutch greedily to my yellow heart this sweet treasure, this jewel beyond price, the dirty, stinking bit of withered old flesh which is my beautiful little life! (He laughs with a sneering, vindictive self-loathing, staring inward at himself with contempt and hatred. Then abruptly he makes Hickey again the antagonist.) You think you'll make me admit that to myself?
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
Darn your Barnum and Bailey circus lingo, Big. This isn't a thing to mock at. I should think the origin of man would be something that would appeal even to your hothouse imagination. Modern science believes—knows—that Asia was the first home of the human race. That's where we're going, to the great Central Asian plateau north of the Himalayas.
Eugene O'Neill (The First Man)
It makes it so much harder, living in this atmosphere of constant suspicion, knowing everyone is spying on me, and none of you believe in me, or trust me.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Yes, facts don't mean a thing, do they? What you want to believe, that's the only truth!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
We fought so hard against the small things that we became small ourselves. —EUGENE O’NEILL
David Allen (Ready For Anything: 52 productivity principles for work and life)
You're lying to yourself again. You wanted to get rid of them. Their contempt and disgust aren't pleasant company. You're glad they're gone.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future, too. We all try to lie out of that but life won’t let us.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I'm thinking 'tis only slaves do be giving heed to the day that's gone or the day to come.
Eugene O'Neill (The Hairy Ape)
Dicen que existe la paz en los verdes campos del Edén. Hay que morirse para averiguarlo.
Eugene O'Neill
That's right! Run him down! Run down everybody! Everyone is a fake to you!
Eugene O'Neill
DONKEYMAN: S’pose there’s a gel mixed up in it someplace, ain’t there? SMITTY: What makes you think so? DONKEYMAN: Always is when a man lets music bother ‘im. [“The Moon of the Caribees”]
Eugene O'Neill (Seven Plays of the Sea)
And if sometimes, on the stairs of a palace, or on the green side of a ditch, or in the dreary solitude of your own room, you should awaken and the drunkenness be half or wholly slipped away from you, ask of the wind, or of the wave, or of the star, or of the bird, or of the clock, of whatever flies, or sighs, or rocks, or sings, or speaks, ask what hour it is; and the wind, wave star, bird, clock, will answer you: 'it is the hour to be drunken! Be drunken, if you would not be martyred slaves of Time; be drunken continually! With wine, with poetry, or with virtue, as you will."" (He grins at his father provocatively.)
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Voltaire, Rousseau, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Ibsen! Atheists, fools, and madmen! And your poets! This Dowson, and this Baudelaire, and Swinburne and Oscar Wilde, and Whitman and Poe! Whoremongers and degenerates!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Oh, I'm so sick and tired of pretending this is a home! You won't help me! You won't put yourself out the least bit! You don't know how to act in a home! You don't really want one! You never wanted one - never since the day we were married! You should have remained a bachelor and lived in second-rate hotels and entertained your friends in barrooms!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
The tragedy of life is what makes it worthwhile. I think that any life which merits living lies in the effort to realize some dream, and the higher that dream is, the harder it is to realize. Most decidedly we must all have our dreams. If one hasn't them, one might as well be dead. The only success is in failure. Any man who has a big enough dream must be a failure and must accept that as one of the conditions of being alive. If ever he thinks for a moment that he is a success, then he is finished
Eugene O'Neill (The Unknown O`Neill: Unpublished or Unfamiliar Writings of Eugene O`Neill)
LAVINIA: I want to feel love! Love is all beautiful! I never used to know that! I was a fool! We'll be married soon... We'll make an island for ourselves on land and we'll have children and love them and teach them to love life so that they can never be possessed by hate and death!
Eugene O'Neill (Mourning Becomes Electra)
- Who wants to see life as it is, if they can help it? It's the three Gorgons in one. You look in their faces and turn to stone. Or it's Pan. You see him and you die - that is, inside you - and have to go on living as a ghost. - You have a poet in you but it's a damned morbid one!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself—actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself!
Eugene O'Neill
In his play “Long Day’s Journey into Night, ” Eugene O’Neill has one of his characters utter a powerful statement toward the end of her life: “None of us can help the things life has done to us. They are done before you realize it and once they are done, they make you do other things, until at
Ravi Zacharias (The Grand Weaver: How God Shapes Us Through the Events of Our Lives)
(General Wetjoen talking about the Boer War)Let him come! I have seen them come before -- at Margesfontein, Spion Kiopje, Modder River. Stepping into battle, left right left right, waving their silly swords, so afraid they couldn't show off how brave they was, and with mine rifle I kills them so easy!
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
Only the past when you were happy is real.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
There was no damned romance in our poverty.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
It all made me think of Eugene O’Neill’s line, “Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.
Anne Lamott (Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith)
No, I’m afraid I’m like the guy who is always panhandling for a smoke. He hasn’t even got the makings. He’s got only the habit.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Who wants to see life as it is, if they can help it?
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
Soon, leedle proletarians, ve vill have free picnic in the cool shade, ve vill eat hot dogs and trink free beer beneath the villow trees! Like hogs, yes! Like beautiful leedle hogs!
Eugene O'Neill (The Iceman Cometh)
For de small stealing dey puts you in jail, soon or late. But for de big stealing dey puts yo' picture in de paper and yo' statue in de Hall of Fame when you croaks! If dey's one thing I learned in ten years, listenin' to de white quality on de Pullman cars, it's dat same fact. And when I gets a chance to use it -- from stowaway to Emperor in two years. Dat's goin' some!
Eugene O'Neill (Four Plays: Anna Christie / The Hairy Ape / The Emperor Jones / Beyond the Horizon)
Now I have to lie, especially to myself. But how can you understand, when I don't myself. I've never understood anything about it, except that one day long ago I found I could no longer call my soul my own.
Eugene O'Neill
EDMUND (with alcoholic talkativeness): You've just told me some high spots in your memories. Want to hear mine? They're all connected with the sea. Here's one. When I was on the Squarehead square rigger, bound for Buenos Aires. Full moon in the Trades. The old hooker driving fourteen knots. I lay on the bowsprit, facing astern, with the water foaming into spume under me, the masts with every sail white in the moonlight, towering high above me. I became drunk with the beauty and singing rhythm of it, and for a moment I lost myself -- actually lost my life. I was set free! I dissolved in the sea, became white sails and flying spray, became beauty and rhythm, became moonlight and the ship and the high dim-starred sky! I belonged, without past or future, within peace and unity and a wild joy, within something greater than my own life, or the life of Man, to Life itself! To God, if you want to put it that way. Then another time, on the American Line, when I was lookout on the crow's nest in the dawn watch. A calm sea, that time. Only a lazy ground swell and a slow drowsy roll of the ship. The passengers asleep and none of the crew in sight. No sound of man. Black smoke pouring from the funnels behind and beneath me. Dreaming, not keeping lookout, feeling alone, and above, and apart, watching the dawn creep like a painted dream over the sky and sea which slept together. Then the moment of ecstatic freedom came. The peace, the end of the quest, the last harbor, the joy of belonging to a fulfillment beyond men's lousy, pitiful, greedy fears and hopes and dreams! And several other times in my life, when I was swimming far out, or lying alone on a beach, I have had the same experience. Became the sun, the hot sand, green seaweed anchored to a rock, swaying in the tide. Like a saint's vision of beatitude. Like the veil of things as they seem drawn back by an unseen hand. For a second you see -- and seeing the secret, are the secret. For a second there is meaning! Then the hand lets the veil fall and you are alone, lost in the fog again, and you stumble on toward nowhere, for no good reason!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
What I wanted to say is, I'd like to see you become the greatest success in the world. But you'd better be on your guard. Because I'll do my damnedest to make you fail. Can't help it. I hate myself. Got to take revenge. On everyone else. Especially you. Oscar Wilde's "Reading Gaol" has the dope twisted. The man was dead and so he had to kill the thing he loved. That's what it ought to be. The dead part of me hopes you won't get well. Maybe he's even glad the same has got Mama again! He wants company, he doesn't want to be the only corpse around the house!
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
But in our age of emptiness, tragedies are relatively rare. Or if they are written, the tragic aspect is the very fact that human life is so empty, as in Eugene O’Neill’s drama, The Iceman Cometh. This play is set in a saloon, and its dramatis personae—alcoholics, prostitutes, and, as the chief character, a man who in the course of the play goes psychotic—can dimly recall the periods in their lives when they did believe in something. It is this echo of human dignity in a great void of emptiness that gives this drama the power to elicit the emotions of pity and terror of classical tragedy.
Rollo May (Man's Search for Himself)
him. I also recall the great poster for Ana Christie with Greta Garbo, based on a Eugene O’Neill play. ‘Garbo Talks’ it said. In that film, a series of inns were shown to stimulate our expectations, then there was mist, then a horse in the mist, then finally a woman arrived from Sweden and walked across the stage. Ferrari. Was it Greta Garbo? Borges. Yes, she arrived at the bar and slowly strolled past a very long table. We all expected her to talk—we were waiting to hear Greta Garbo’s voice, her never-heard-before voice. What we did hear was a hoarse voice that said, ‘Give me a whisky.’ It made us shiver with emotion. That was her first talkie.
Jorge Luis Borges (Conversations, Volume 1)
FOLKSBIENE, an impoverished, frail Yiddish theater company in constant danger of annihilation, had outlasted all the giants. The year of Schwartz's death the little troupe moved into the Forward building, guaranteeing it a permanent home with four walls and a roof, plus heat in the winter, fans in the summer, and best of all, continuing subsidies from the newspaper and the Workmen's Circle. Sporadically, other Yiddish productions would take place in New York, but they were one-shots, musicals, and charity fund-raisers. Ensconced in their new place, Folksbiene managers claimed that theirs was the oldest continuously operating Yiddish theater in the world. As proof, all past productions were listed year by year, ranging all the way back to 1915. It was an impressive roster. Among the authors included were Sholem Aleichem, Leon Kobrin, and both Singer brothers, Israel Joshua and Isaac Bashevis; also the Russians Alexander Pushkin and Maxim Gorki; and such American authors as Theodore Dreiser, Eugene O'Neill, Sherwood Anderson, and Clifford Odets. It didn't matter how well attended those shows were, or how well acted, or the duration of their runs. The point was that the Folksbiene had survived, just as the Jewish people had survived. Together, they were the keepers of the flame. It was a very small candle in a very big city.
Stefan Kanfer (Stardust Lost: The Triumph, Tragedy, and Meshugas of the Yiddish Theater in America (Vintage))
I’ll be waiting to welcome you with that “my old pal” stuff, and give you the glad hand, and at the first good chance I get stab you in the back.
Eugene O'Neill (Long Day's Journey into Night)
All five of our twentieth-century literature Nobel laureates were alcoholics—Sinclair Lewis, Eugene O’Neill, William Faulkner, Ernest Hemingway, and John Steinbeck.
Susan Cheever (Drinking in America: Our Secret History)
Lo único que envejecen son nuestras vidas. Donde estamos, los siglos solo son como segundos, y después de vivir mil vidas, nuestros ojos empiezan a abrirse.
Eugene O'Neill
I will be an artist or nothing!
Eugene O’Neill
when authorities learned that Eugene O’Neill’s play All God’s Chillun proposed to show black and white children playing together as if that were normal, the district attorney for Manhattan sent the police to stop it.
Bill Bryson (One Summer: America, 1927)
Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.” ~ Eugene O'Neill
Scott Leopold (The Joker Unauthorized (The Origin Book 1))
January 15: Marilyn and Joe eat dinner at the Le Pavilion restaurant, and then attend the closing night performance of The Hostage at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre.
Carl Rollyson (Marilyn Monroe Day by Day: A Timeline of People, Places, and Events)