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Long Day's Journey into Night (Anglais) Broché – 8 février 2002


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Eugene O'Neill's autobiographical play Long Day's Journey into Night is regarded as his finest work. First published by Yale University Press in 1956, it won the Pulitzer Prize in 1957 and has since sold more than one million copies. This edition, which includes a new foreword by Harold Bloom, coincides with a new production of the play starring Brian Dennehy, which opens in Chicago in January 2002 and in New York in April.


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93 internautes sur 93 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Pain of Humanity: Perhaps the Best 20th Century Drama 20 mars 2004
Par Gary F. Taylor - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
The great bulk of Eugene O'Neill's work was done between about 1914 and 1933, a period which saw him win Pulitzer Prizes for Beyond The Horizon, Anna Christie, and Strange Interlude as well as create The Emperor Jones, The Hairy Ape, Desire Under the Elms, The Great God Brown, and Mourning Becomes Electra. But around 1933 O'Neill--who struggled against physical ailments, alcoholism, and a host of personal demons--fell silent.
Although O'Neill was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1936, he would remain silent for some ten years, leaving most to believe he had written himself out, was burned out, that his career was over. But in spite of tremendous personal issues, O'Neill continued to write in private, and during this period he would generate a string of powerful plays, many of which would not be released for performance until after his death in 1953. The legendary Long Day's Journey Into Night, closely based on his own family life, was written in the early 1940s. It was first performed in 1956--some three years after his death--at which time it too won the Pulitzer Prize.
The play presents the story of the Tyrone family. James Tyrone is a famous stage actor, now aging; his wife Mary is a delicately beautiful but sadly worn woman named Mary. Their two sons are studies in contrast: Jamie, in his late 30s, is wild--fond of wine, women, and song--and seen as a bad influence on younger Edmund, who is physically frail but intellectually sharp. The action takes place at their summer home, and begins in the morning; the family seems happy enough--but clearly there is something we do not know, something working under the surface that gives an unnatural quality to their interaction.
Over the four acts and next four hours the morning passes into afternoon, the afternoon into night. And we will learn the truth: the history of money grubbing, the alcoholism, the drugs, the personal failures, the seemingly endless cycle of self-defeating, self-destructive behavior in which the four are locked beyond hope of redemption. And as it progresses the play gathers itself into an almost unendurable scream of agony, a scream of truly cosmic proportions.
Why, you might ask, would someone wish to read--much less sit through--such a play? A work so painful that it often becomes difficult to continue reading or to look at the stage? I myself asked this question when I first encountered it. Over the years I have done quite a bit of theatre. In the early 1980s I played the role of Edmund; in the late 1990s I played the role of Jamie. On both occasions I found the play horrifically painful to perform. On both occasions I wondered if such a painful play could find an audience in small-town America. On both occasions Long Day's Journey Into Night sold out and not a person left the theatre before each performance ended.
Because, I think, the play taps into something that is universal but which is extremely difficult to express in simple terms. As O'Neill might say himself, it has a touch of the poet--but of a failed poet. Somehow, in some unique way, it speaks to the self-knowledge we all have of the hidden dreams that never came true, the little accommodations, the big and small failures that have stung us and changed us and over time made us--for better or worse--the beings that we are. It has humanity. It makes us see our own humanity. It makes us acknowledge the humanity of those around us.
Many, myself among them, regard this as O'Neill's finest play--and considering the great power that many of his works have, that is saying a great deal. It is also in some respects one of his most accessible plays: shorn of the experimentalism to which O'Neill was frequently drawn and beautifully simple, beautifully direct, even those unaccustomed to reading playscripts will find it a rapid and powerful read. For this reason it is really the only O'Neill script I recommend to casual readers. And I recommend it very, very strongly indeed. A great drama, both on the page and on the stage.
GFT, Amazon Reviewer
9 internautes sur 9 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Depresessing, Enthralling...Beautiful. 5 mai 2003
Par Jessica - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
If one needs the ultimate example of a classic American play, I would have to say the play about the most un-classic, untypical (or is it?) American family...Eugene O'Neill's "Long Days Journey Into Night." Set in the chlostrophobic New England summer house of the Tyrone's, and spanning over the course of one day, the Tyrone family--the stingy, retired actor James, the lonely opium addicted wife Mary, drunken Jamie, and sensitive, ill Edmund--avoids, denys, confronts and retreats from all their demons, until it is finally night, and they no longer can.
Depressing, huh? Well, of course it is...but within it is something so powerful, so strangely beautiful, that the reader (or viewer) is enthralled. One sees seemingly strong James, ashamed of himself for selling out his acting abilities for financial security. Mary, lonely from James' years of touring, has turned to an opium addiction that she can not seem to confront. Jamie, from hate of his father's stinginess and his own self-blame, loses himself in alcohol and whores. And sweet, artistic, tubulcular Edmund (O'Neill's alter ego) plays witness in the deteration of his family's web of pain, denial and lies. All they want is for morning to come, another day to let the fog come in around them so they can forget again.
In a way, isn't that what we all want to do sometimes? Just forget what's going on around us, even for a while. I would recommend this play as absolutly essential to read--for the fan of the theatre, literature, or a layman. Anyone can relate to the pure, raw emotion and guilt O'Neill conveys. Buy it now, you'll thank me later.
8 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A chillingly typical day in the life of the young Eugene O'Neill 5 mai 2006
Par D. Cloyce Smith - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
There's a good reason O'Neill insisted that Random House not publish this play until 25 years after his death, which would have prevented its production until 1978. The characters and the story are painfully drawn from O'Neill's own family life. Even though his immediate family members had all died, he surely was concerned about the hurt it could cause his surviving relatives and the impact of memories shared by his close friends. Random House ultimately honored the agreement but, fortunately for the history of drama, O'Neill's wife allowed the play to be published by Yale University Press and produced on Broadway in 1956, only three years after his death.

The volume is labeled here as a "second edition" but in truth it's simply a corrected edition that fixes relatively minor errors that were introduced in the 1956 publication. (Due to a production error, the first printing dropped a single line. The 61st printing in 1989 restored four lines that were dropped by the typist who retyped O'Neill's edited manuscript. Otherwise, it's the same play that was originally published fifty years ago.)

The play's power comes not from its plot; there is hardly any action at all. Instead, one sees O'Neill's family living out a single and typical day. James Tyrone, Sr., has spent his entire life playing one role in a nationally popular play, much like James O'Neill (Eugene's father), who starred in an adaptation of "The Count of Monte Cristo," appearing in some 4,000 performances between 1883 and 1912. Early in the play, Tyrone realizes that his wife, Mary, has suffered a relapse into her longtime morphine addiction. Similarly, just before he turned 13, Eugene O'Neill had learned of his own mother's morphine addiction (when she attempted to drown herself). The addiction, which lasted for more than a quarter of a century, resulted from the difficulties of Eugene's birth.

The two sons are modeled on Eugene and his brother. The older Jamie is an amiable, shiftless loafer and an alcoholic in training. (The real Jamie entered a sanatorium after a bout of alcohol poisoning and died soon thereafter.) And the younger Edmund, of course, is Eugene himself, who worked as a seaman on various freighters, attempted to commit suicide in a Manhattan saloon soon after his return to the States, and returned home to learn he has tuberculosis.

The play is set on a specific day in this family's life: the day Edmund finds out his diagnosis (which in Eugene's life would be in November 1912, only months before O'Neill began to write his first dramatic sketch). And it is certainly a long day's journey. O'Neill portrays his family brutally and lovingly: his mother is a ghost wandering the house in her dreamy universe; his father is a cheapskate concerned more about acquiring real estate than about spending a cent on his son's medical recovery; the brother begins drinking early in the morning and stumbles home nearly 24 hours later. Edmund is lost in his poetic musings.

And all four of them manage constantly to get on each other's nerves with well-practiced rituals of selfishness, denial, argument, insult, and forgiveness. Their incessant banter and taxing squabbles don't always read well on the page; that professional performances of the play don't wear on the audience is a testimony to O'Neill's mastery of the dramatic form. It is, I think, O'Neill's best work.
5 internautes sur 5 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Timeless themes revolving around the dysfunctional Tyrones! 8 juillet 2003
Par Un client - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
I haven't actually read a play since college and I picked this up because I am going to see the Broadway production of "Long Day's Journey Into Night", starring Vanessa Redgrave and Brian Dennhey,and I always find that I appreciate shows like that more if I am familiar with the play itself. It was an enjoyable genre change for me!
What makes this play particularly interesting is the autobiographical nature of the plot (so disturbingly autobiographical, in fact, that O'Neill would not allow its publication and production until after his death!). O'Neill dedicated the play to his wife, basically stating that writing this was his way of coming to grips with his own past and the "4 haunted Tryrones" of his life. I imagine that when this first appeared in the theaters in the 1950s, it struck a sensitive and somewhat controversial chord amongst the public since issues such as drug addiction and alcoholism were not common topics in popular entertainment at the time. I also enjoyed all the literary references to the likes of Shakespeare, Baudelaire and Swineburne (and so forth!). It made me want to acquaint myself with such literary talents once again!
This is another example of a piece of literature that reaches across the decades with timeless themes such as familial love, loyalty, jealousy, guilt and betrayal, as well as depression, addiction and greed. While I pitied and even despised some of the qualities I saw in these characters, I couldn't help empathizing with Mary's nervous addiction as well as James' feeling of disappointment in his past failures. In other words, these characters are all so human, that I couldn't help being drawn into the realistic pathos of their lives.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
An Aching Cry From the Heart 12 septembre 2004
Par Barry C. Chow - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Before dysfunctional families became talk show circus acts, they were used as morality tales to warn us about the wages of sin. When that dysfunctional family is a playwright's own, and when that playwright is as gifted as Eugene O'Neill, we get a work of genius that makes other morality plays look like cartoons.

Firstly, a warning: this is an utterly depressing work. It doesn't contain anything upbeat. The characters start at bleak and chart a passage to despairing. If you are the kind of person who can't stand angst, then this play is not for you. Long Day's Journey works on countless levels and addresses themes of surpassing worth, but pretty it is not. I can understand why some people would hate it. What I don't understand is why they would read it in the first place.

Now for the good stuff. This is a play that addresses sins like vanity, pride and self-deceit, but in a way that does not preach, beat its breast, or feel contrived. How characters of such obvious intelligence come to such a pass is what fascinates. Through the course of the play, we come to see that talent, brains and social standing are insufficient to life's sustenance; the vital ingredient is sternness of character, and each of the protagonists in Long Day's Journey suffer from failings of character to a greater or lesser degree.

The title is a poetic metaphor that echoes the course of the family's lives. Substitute 'suffering' for 'day' and 'hell' for 'night' and you will get a clear picture of the play's progression. It observes not only the classical unities of time, action and place, but strives for the Shakespearean in its elocution. O'Neill's language is magnificent--he achieves a spare eloquence that meets the tenets of open verse. This re-infusion of poetry back into the playwright's craft is not the least of his achievements.

Many existential plays achieve their thematic objectives by indulging in theatricality. Even good plays like "Death of a Salesman" or "A Streetcar Named Desire" suffer from a sense of artifice. But "Long Day's Journey" feels genuine to its core. This is not a product of the imagination, but a story from a master storyteller who is baring his own soul. These are his own demons on display and the pain we feel stems from the fact that two of those demons are his mother and his father.

I don't know what it took for him to write this work. This is more a confession than a catharsis and one suspects that O'Neill derived no comfort or spiritual release from giving us this gift. We are the sole beneficiaries of his largesse, and this knowledge imparts a special sense of poignancy to the sympathy we already feel for its bent and wounded incumbents.
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