"Daddy Spoke to Me!": Gods Lost and Found in Long Day's Journey Into Night and Through a Glass Darkly


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Stockholm's Dramatiska Teatem has indeed been a very congenial stage away from home for America's only Nobel Prize-winning dramatist, mounting not just the premiere of Long Day's Journey Into Night in 1956, but also the first productions of A Touch of the Poet (1957), of "Hughie" (1958), and of More Stately Mansions (1962). Although Ingmar Bergman, Sweden's leading filmmaker as well as a theatre director of some renown, has never yet directed an O'Neill work for either stage or screen, he has "often quoted"-· and therefore apparently values-the playwright's belief that "drama that doesn't deal with man's relation to God is worthless." As Bergman goes on to explain in a 1969 interview, "Today we say all art is political. But I'd say all art has to do with ethics. Which after all really comes down to the same thing. It's a matter of attitudes. That's what O'Neill meant."1 As Paisley Livingston comments, "In Bergman's reading of the O'Neill dictum, man's relation to God passes through man's relation to man."2No one, however, has begun to explore fully the possible relationships ( over and above their common indebtedness to Strindberg) between O'Neill's plays and Bergman's films, although Michael Manheim does suggest in passing that Bergman's Autumn Sonata (1978) "may well have been influenced by O'Neill's later plays, given their well-known popularity and availability in contemporary Sweden."3 Along with establishing some connections between O'Neill's Long Day's Journey and Bergman's Through a Glass Darkly which might particularize Manheim's general intuition that O'Neill be seen as influential on Bergman's art, an intertextual perspective, the later work seen as re-interpreting the earlier, can help audiences resee the play from the vantage point of its focus upon faith-losing faith, searching for and, perhaps, finding faith.

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