6 Comments
Mar 2, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver

That sounds wonderful, Henry: using verbatim quotes to create the play, etc.

Wishing you the very best in all of your worthy projects, including the play!

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Thank you!

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Mar 2, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver

What an extraordinary and beautiful letter. Thanks for presenting the whole thing.

When I was younger, I rarely quoted much from my subjects, unless it was a passage of verse. As you say, I prized the smooth continuity of my prose.

But gradually I realized that quotation gives both additional energy and humanity to an essay or review. The author’s personality shines forth directly better than any paraphrase I could offer.

Dana Gioia

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Isn’t it striking? I was amazed when I found it that it hasn’t been in Reeves. I agree the added humanity makes a lot of difference to a review. Thanks Dana.

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Mar 2, 2023Liked by Henry Oliver

Hey, Henry, you are a highly skilled and informed writer on many topics, and (of course) expert in biography.

I fully believe that your principle is crucial: to show the person. In a sense, to let the person reveal herself/himself, as you suggest in the letters.

I'm intrigued by the phrase, "biographical drama." Would you mind sharing more?

I imagine that your Mills play is an example, right?

Blessings,

Daniel

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Exactly right! Making a stage play out of the material rather than a biography in prose narrative. Often those plays contain made-up dialogue. I am interested in only using verbatim quotes to create the whole play, like "Noel and Gertie" by Sheridan Morley.

Thank you for your kind words!

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