The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan

The Selected Letters of Elia Kazan


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This fully annotated selection of Elia Kazan’s letters reveals all the passion, vitality, and raw honesty that made him such a towering figure in American theater and film.

Kazan’s determination to be a “sincere, conscious, practicing artist” resounds through every phase of his career: his apprenticeship with the Group Theatre, his co-founding of the Actors Studio and co-direction of the Repertory Theater of Lincoln Center, and his innovative directing on Broadway (A Streetcar Named Desire and Death of a Salesman) and in Hollywood (On the Waterfront and East of Eden). Kazan collaborated with some of the greatest writers of the era, including Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Thornton Wilder, and John Steinbeck. His letters to and about Marlon Brando, James Dean, Warren Beatty, Robert De Niro, and others are full of insights on acting and directing. We see his heated dealings with studio moguls, his principled resistance to censorship, the upheavals of testifying before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. We glimpse his inner life in his startlingly candid letters to his first wife and those to and about his children. The Selected Letters provides an extraordinary portrait of a complex, intense, monumentally talented man who engaged the political, moral, and artistic currents of the twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101911396
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/08/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 672
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Elia Kazan was born in 1909 in Istanbul, graduated from Williams College, and attended the Yale School of Drama before joining the Group Theatre. He was the founder of the Actors Studio, and won three Tony Awards (All My Sons, Death of a Salesman, J.B.) and two Academy Awards (Gentleman’s Agreement, On the Waterfront) for direction, as well as an honorary Oscar in 1999 for lifetime achievement. He wrote seven novels and an autobiography. He died in 2003.
Albert J. Devlin, professor emeritus of English at the University of Missouri, has written and edited books on Eudora Welty and Tennessee Williams. He received a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for work on The Selected Letters of Tennessee Williams, which the Modern Language Association recognized as a "model edition" of letters and on which it bestowed the Morton N. Cohen Award in 2001. Marlene J. Devlin graduated from the University of Kansas. She taught at the University of Missouri and Columbia Public Schools.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

Editorial Note xvii

Abbreviations xix

Part I Beginnings, 1925-1941 1

Part II Broadway, 1942,-1949 63

Part III Filmmaker, 1950-1953 141

Part IV Independence, 1954-1957 255

Part V Theater and Film, 1957-1961 361

Part VI Writer, 1962-1969 463

Part VII Later Years, 1970-1988 555

Chronology 615

Acknowledgments 627

Key to Citations 629

Key to Collections 633

Index 635

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