cdc-coteauxdegaronne
» » A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph
eBook A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph ePub

eBook A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph ePub

by Ralph F. Voss

  • ISBN: 0700604421
  • Category: History and Criticism
  • Subcategory: Literature
  • Author: Ralph F. Voss
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas; Reprint edition (April 20, 1989)
  • Pages: 336
  • ePub book: 1354 kb
  • Fb2 book: 1700 kb
  • Other: mbr doc lit docx
  • Rating: 4.9
  • Votes: 328

Description

The troubled life of William Inge (1913-73), America's most celebrated playwright of the 1950s, is sympathetically examined in this biography by a fellow Kansan who teaches at the University of Alabama.

The troubled life of William Inge (1913-73), America's most celebrated playwright of the 1950s, is sympathetically examined in this biography by a fellow Kansan who teaches at the University of Alabama. In his four famous plays- Come Back Little Sheba, Picnic (for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize), Bus Stop and The Dark at the Top of the Stairs (all of which were successfully filmed)-Inge explored themes of loneliness, frustration, loss, despair and the need for love within the family, themes rooted in his own unhappiness.

A Life of William Inge book. A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph. In the spring of 1973 one of the country's most successful dramatists, William Inge, ran out of reasons to think he was any good. He went into his garage one night and shut the door, seated himself behind the wheel of his new car, and turned the key. By morning he was dead.

This book is a biography of Willian Inge, the American playwright who committed suicide in 1973. Inge had received a Pulitzer Prize for Picnic and an Academy Award for his screenplay, Splendour in the Grass. By 1962 he had written an unprecedented string of Broadway hits Picnic, Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs and Come Back, Little Sheba.

Inge has told his story of life and death and all those spaces in between with a gentleness and probity which gives his novel a persistence few writers achieve. Voss, Ralph F. Lawrence, Kansas: University Press of Kansas, 2000. During the early 1970s, Inge lived in Los Angeles, where he taught playwriting at the University of California, Irvine. His last several plays attracted little notice or critical acclaim, and he fell into a deep depression, convinced he would never be able to write well again. ISBN 978-0-7006-0442-5.

March 30, 2019 History. the strains of triumph. A life of William Inge. 1 2 3 4 5. Want to Read. Published 1989 by University Press of Kansas in Lawrence, Kan. Dramatists, American, American Dramatists, Biography, Internet Archive Wishlist.

But William Inge had it made, or so it seemed in 1962. He had written an unprecedented string of Broadway hits: Picnic, Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and Come Back, Little Sheba. In this first book-length literary biography of Inge, Ralph Voss peels back the veneer of public success and lays bare the private pain and isolation of the man who was called America's first authentic midwestern playwright. He draws upon interviews, memoirs, and unpublished manuscripts, letters, and papers to show how Inge's unhappy life fueled the struggles his plays depict.

Coauthors & Alternates.

A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph: ISBN 9780700604425 (978-0-7006-0442-5) Softcover, University Press of Kansas, 1989. Truman Capote and the Legacy of "In Cold Blood". Coauthors & Alternates. Learn More at LibraryThing. Ralph F Voss at LibraryThing.

Ralph F. Voss was a high school junior in Plainville, Kansas in mid-November of 1959 when four members of the Herbert Clutter . Voss was a high school junior in Plainville, Kansas in mid-November of 1959 when four members of the Herbert Clutter family were murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, by four shotgun blasts that, all told, ended six human lives, an unimaginable horror in a quiet farm community during the Eisenhower years.

VOSS, Ralph . OSS, Ralph F. American, b. 1943. Genres: Literary criticism and history, Writing/Journalism. Publications: Elements of Practical Writing, 1985; A Life of William Inge: The Strains of Triumph, 1989; (with . Keene) The Heath Guide to College Writing, 1992, 2nd e. 1995. Work represented in anthologies. Voss, A Life of William Lnge: The Strains of Triumph. William Inge, Summer Brave and Eleven Short Plays. Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 1989, p. 17. oogle Scholar. 5. Donald Spoto, The Kindness of Strangers: The Life of Tennessee Williams. Boston: Little Brown, 1985, p. 22. William Inge and the Subversion of Gender. Jefferson, NC: McFarland and Company, 2005, p. 8.

In the spring of 1973 one of the country's most successful dramatists, William Inge, ran out of reasons to think he was any good. He went into his garage one night and shut the door, seated himself behind the wheel of his new car, and turned the key. By morning he was dead. "Death makes us all innocent," Inge had written, "and weaves all our private hurts and griefs and wrongs into the fabric of time, and makes them a part of eternity."But William Inge had it made, or so it seemed in 1962. He had written an unprecedented string of Broadway hits: Picnic, Bus Stop, The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, and Come Back, Little Sheba. All four plays had become successful films featuring top Hollywood stars. Inge had received a Pulitzer Prize for Picnic and an Academy Award for his screenplay, Splendor in the Grass. Even his longtime friend and mentor, Tennessee Williams, was envious of his success.Privately, Inge was miserable. His long struggle with alcoholism and profound shame over his homosexuality plagued him before, during, and after his decade of great success. As criticism of his work intensified, Inge responded with increasingly frantic attempts to please by "modernizing" his writing. He abandoned the small-town characters and settings he knew in favor of more lurid, urban subject matter. In the end, his characters lost their authentic voices, and neither critics nor audiences found his later work believable.In this first book-length literary biography of Inge, Ralph Voss peels back the veneer of public success and lays bare the private pain and isolation of the man who was called America's first authentic midwestern playwright. He draws upon interviews, memoirs, and unpublished manuscripts, letters, and papers to show how Inge's unhappy life fueled the struggles his plays depict.

Comments

Granirad Granirad
During the 1960's, I first saw a group of films I found powerful and moving: "Picnic", "Come Back Little Sheba", "Dark at the Top of the Stairs" and "Splendor in the Grass".

Most were based on plays, and when I realised that they were all written by William Inge, I wanted to know more about the man who created them, and the inspiration behind them.

This biography by Ralph R. Voss answers those questions. You can sense the depth of research that has gone into the book, with much sourced from interviews with people who knew Inge well.

Voss found a wealth of information about Inge's childhood showing that even as a young boy he was drawn to the theatre. Considered a sissy by other boys, he nonetheless impressed teachers and relations with his ability to impersonate females, an affinity that emerged in his adult work as a particular sensitivity with his female characters.

Voss fills in the gaps in Inge's college years by drawing on his writings, especially the semi-autobiographical novel, "My Son is a Splendid Driver". Although Inge aspired to acting, after college he taught English and drama.

A job as an arts reviewer on a St Louis paper changed Inge's life. Voss draws from a number of sources for this period in Inge's life including Donald Spoto's biography of Tennessee Williams. Inge met Williams just as the latter's career began to take off. Voss, although cautious with his facts, thinks it was possible that Inge and Williams had an affair. More importantly, Voss shows how Williams was a major inspiration in Inge becoming a playwright, although later, there was rivalry.

Voss traces the source for Inge's characters - his parents became Rubin and Cora Flood in "Dark at the top of the Stairs"; an aunt and uncle inspired Doc and Lola in "Come Back Little Sheba" - with a liberal dose of William Inge thrown in. Voss also explores Inge's lesser-known plays. They reveal the themes common to all his major works, summed up by Voss as, "...the complexity of human love, loneliness, failure, frustration, and, most important of all, the need to accept life as it is".

Despite a record run of successful plays, Inge's self doubt, and conflict over his homosexuality robbed him of much satisfaction; he seemed almost as miserable in success as he was in failure.

Seen as a playwright for the 50's but out of touch by the 60's, his confidence was hit hard after his work was brutally criticised by a young drama critic out to make a name for himself. As Voss says, "...the critic knew how to punch, and William Inge was a vulnerable playwright who did not know how to bob and weave."

This was followed by his first failure on Broadway, and with the exception of the screenplay for "Splendor in the Grass", it was downhill from there, compounded by damaged friendships, and bad financial and creative decisions.

After many years in New York, Inge settled in Hollywood. The themes of his writing shifted from the Mid-West to urban environments, and took on a harder, less convincing edge. However he was still prolific; Voss dissects the final work, which reveals a man not only battling alcoholism and depression, but also fighting to be relevant to a new audience. Voss explores the last, poignant play, which virtually serves as Inge's suicide note.

This engrossing and insightful biography takes us on William Inge's life journey, and presents an even-handed appraisal of his legacy. Above all, it gives a genuine insight into what made William Inge tick.
WOGY WOGY
William Inge once said he feared his life was nothing more than being lost in an endless corridor.
That fear of loneliness led him to write some of the most honest and accurate plays/novels of what it
means to be a typical American.

Though his plays have fallen out of favor that does not mean Inge is a minor writer.
Rather he is the great American playwright and Ralph Voss has done us all a service by writing his biography.
As noted in an earlier review Voss had no easy task.
Inge was not a man who openly shared his emotions and not an easy man to know.
Voss did what he could in terms of research and presented an authentic biography.

After you finish the biography you will understand William Inge better, his plays and novels better
and what it meant to be a playwright in the years following World War II and how quickly success can
be followed by failure and what that failure can do to a human.
Mayno Mayno
Within reading the first few pages of this well researched and illuminating biography of one of America's finest playwrights, it becomes obvious that author Ralph Voss is first and formost a major fan of William Inge, the bard of Kansas. That is always a prerequisite for embarking on a biographical journey. However, Voss' fandom does get in his way frequently as he unsuccessfully confuses is goal: is he a fan or a critic. This is really a small matter as the book does provide a fascinating insight into William Inge, a man whose private nature makes him a shadowy enigma at best.
Even almost thirty years after his death, Voss (writing in 1988), finds it very difficult to focus on Inge's personal life. The book doesn't provide as effective an insight into the writing process or into the man's inter workings as say Leverich's recent biography of Tennessee Williams has. This is due in no small part to the simple but important fact most of Inge's surviving friends and family didn't really know him.
This leaves Voss with little choice but to focus on the work.
Voss makes it apparent that reading a biography of Inge is ultimately anti climatic as the thin layer of fiction in his work barely covers its ultimately autobiographical quality. Anyone who has read, watched or produced Inge's work will immediately recognize the forms, characters and language and situations relfected in his life. Voss proves most successful in drawing, enhancing and exploring those connections. This holds especially as the older,increasingly cynical and bitter Inge attempts to answer his critics (especially Robert Brustein!) and create plays reflective of the volatile 1960's and early 1970's. His latter plays failed perhaps because Inge tried to write outside of his strengths. Watching his bittersweet portraits of midwestern life crumble to dark and violent scenes of depravity really does fill the reader with a sense of sadness and loss. William Inge, like many great artists, decomposed in front of an audience.
Voss does admit that perhaps while Inge was not a great playwright in the sense he did not revolutionize the form as Brecht, Beckett, Odets, Williams, Miller and Wilder did, he did possess an uncanny ability to capture realistic dialouge.
Inge's sepia toned portraits of midwestern manners and life have been overshadowed by the canon of Williams, Miller and O'Neil to be sure. Voss makes the successful case that Inge stands as a proud equal to the more illuminary authors of America's rich dramatic tradition.
A fine read well worth the time and effort about a fine literary artist desperately in need of rediscovering. Even if it doesn't know whether it is a biography or critical evaluation.
Mariwyn Mariwyn
I found it tiresome to read since Voss states constantly that "can't be confirmed but such and such happened, and such and such was said", it really breaks up the rythm and makes it such a long read. I am really interested in Inge because of what I knew he put in his oeuvre because of his surroundings, but this book tries to be so detailed that it loses the reader in minutiae, like watching something with an magnifying glass all the time without taking a step back to appreciate the full effect of certain defining moments in Inge's life. At your own risk. I found more fulfilling reading the wikipedia on Inge.
Sermak Light Sermak Light
Lots of biographical information about one of our most underrated playwrights. Reads a little textbook, but still the definitive source for Inge lovers.