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Arthur Miller

Prince of Asturias Award for Literature 2002

Arthur Miller (New York, USA, 1915 – Roxbury, Connecticut, USA, 2005) is considered to be one of the twentieth century's major playwrights. He began his university studies at the University of Michigan (U.S.A) at a time when he was beginning to take an interest in the theatre. He wrote "The Grass still Grows", which won several literary awards, when he was still a student (1938). He published "The Man who had all the Luck" in 1944, but fame came to him in 1945 via his novel, "Focus". In 1947, he wrote "All my Sons", which was awarded the New York Drama Critics' Circle award. Miller is also renowned for his fierce political and social activism: he attacked American anti-humanism, courted Marxism, only to then criticise it, was a prominent opponent of the McCarthy witch hunt, and denounced American intervention in Korea and Vietnam.

"Death of a Salesman" (1949) won him the Pulitzer Theatre Prize and the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award. "The Crucible" (1953), which ostensibly describes the Salem witchcraft trails, is really a denouncement of the United States' Congress investigations led by Senator Joseph McCarthy. In 1956 Miller appeared before the Committee of Anti-American Activities, was convicted of contempt of court, but appealed and was finally acquitted.

"A View from the Bridge" (1955), "After the Fall" (1963), "Incident at Vichy" (1964), "The Price" (1968) and "The Archbishop's Ceiling" (1977) also figure amongst his work. Furthermore, he wrote the script for the film "Misfits" (1960) - for Marilyn Monroe, his second wife - and in 1978 wrote "Playing for Time". He was president of the Pen Club from 1965 to 1969 and has won the University of Michigan Theatre Award twice in succession (1936 and 1937).

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