Sunday, February 04, 2007

Eric Bentley at 90

Eric Bentley was born on September 14, 1916. He and Jacques Barzun have been friends for more than 60 years.

People want me to be just the author of The Life of the Drama. When I was given the Thalia Prize in Korea, the minister of culture said that when he was a drama student, the book was The Life of the Drama. I wish he had said the book was The Kleist Variations, though it hadn’t appeared yet when he was a student. The other thing is that, as a writer facing a public, it is easier to be young than to be old. It is easier to be immature and wild rather than to be controlled and have a bit of common sense. All my first efforts were received much more favorably than my later efforts. That’s something that disappoints me very much, because I feel that my later efforts were better.
— David Ives, “In Conversation with Eric Bentley,” The Dramatist, January/February 2007.