A Self-Portrait of the Artist as a Man (1966)
When I visited Sean O’Casey in early September of 1964 at his home in St Marychurch, Torquay, as it turned out, only two weeks before he died of a heart attack at the age of eighty-four, there was an unfinished letter in his typewriter, and a pile of letters-to-be-answered on his table. For this alienated Irishman who had lived in self-exile from his homeland for almost forty years — a fiercely independent dramatist who had been forced to write plays for publishers instead of theatres after the Abbey Theatre rejected his Silver Tassie in 1928 — the daily habit of writing and receiving letters had become a vital and compulsive ritual in his life. Since he had a negligible theatre audience, the many hundreds of people all over the world with whom he exchanged letters had become his own private audience, his intimate and immediate contact with the world. The informal and unguarded self-portrait he drew of himself in these letters may turn out to be the greatest character he ever created.
KeywordsclaY Depression Flare Expense Ghost
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