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William Denis Johnston OBE (* 18. Juni 1901 in Dublin; † 8. August 1984) war ein irischer Dramatiker.

Guthrie McClintic (* 6. August 1893 in Seattle, Washington; † 29. Oktober 1961 in Sneden’s Landing, Rockland County, New York) war ein US-amerikanischer Schauspieler, Film- und Theaterproduzent.

Ernst Toller (*1. Dezember 1893 in Samotschin, Provinz Posen; gestorben am 22. Mai 1939 in New York City, New York) war ein deutscher Schriftsteller, Politiker und linkssozialistischer Revolutionär.

William Denis Johnston OBE (* 18. Juni 1901 in Dublin; † 8. August 1984) war ein irischer Dramatiker.

#1523 Brief an Denis Johnston

Datierung 1937-04-17
Absendeort Santa Monica, Kalifornien, USA
Verfasser Toller, Ernst

Brief, 2 S., T

Provenienz The Trinity College Library, Dublin, Denis Johnston Papers (TCD MS 10066), 287-2996a
Briefkopf Sovereign Apartments
Personen Johnston, Denis
McClintic, Guthrie
Richards, Shelah
Toller, Ernst
Johnston, Denis
Werke Blind Man’s Buff
Die blinde Göttin

April 17 1937.

Dear Denis: –

I have just been in New York for a few days and found your letter of March 26th upon my return.

I am under the impression that I have written or wired something which led to a mistake.

It was never my intention to suggest to you to mix the two plays and, as you apparently have understood, to take over entire scenes out of “Blind Goddess” into “Blind Man’s Buff”.

I admire the evolution of the action in “Blind Man’s Buff”; I admire the characterization of the various persons and I think the dialogue excellent.

You will have noticed that at the very beginning I suggested a series of changes, but later on asked you to disregard my suggestions, because I inclined more and more toward the composition of the new structure.

The only thing which I suggested was to add the cross examination of Anice to the court scene. By chance, without having discussed it with me, McClintic expressed this same wish, in spite of the fact that our motives differed.

During my recent visit to New York I had a long talk with McClintic and we discussed the entire matter exhaustively, once more McClintic really has great hopes for the play and I am convinced he will give it an outstanding production. He wants to engage a prominent actress for the part of Anice and he is convinced that the character of Anice has great theatrical possibilities in the cross examination scene. Besides he thinks, and I must say I agree with him, that the thread, as far as Anice is concerned, is cut off in the court scene. Anice plays a decisive part in the first act and after the court scene she again appears prominently. A short, but decisive cross examination of Anice would do the character no harm, on the contrary it would deepen and enrich it.

Dear Denis, it is very hard for me to again ask you, a playwright, for whose power and knowledge I have a genuine respect, and whose inner resistance against the suggestion I feel from your letter.

I have only the courage to do it, as I think that this resistance, which I respect, comes from an erroneous conception of my words.

My telegram:

“use cross examination Anice her former scenes court and womans prison”

did not at all mean that you should incorporate the old scene; I only wanted to say that perhaps certain elements and thoughts out of these scenes may be of use to you.

It was a suggestion made to facilitate your work, as I quite understand that you did not want to start work again which was not only finished but successfully produced.

If you think you can fulfill my request it is entirely up to you how to arrange the scene.

I think you will feel how awkward it is for me to write you this letter. I am convinced that if we could talk things over personally it would be a matter of a few minutes.

If you decide negatively I shall be sorry but I shall respect your decision. If you decide positively – and I hope you will – I am convinced that after my attempt to explain the mistake, you will see that this scene which will cover only a few minutes, has a certain justification.

McClintic has definitely decided to do the play middle of September. He will do it first in New York and later in London.

My work has been easy so far and I feel in Hollywood like a spectator who watches a very odd performance. I have plenty of time to read and to work outside of my film work and I hope these few months will make it possible for me to live independently for an entire year.

Please remember me to Mrs. Johnston.

With best regards and all good wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Ernst Toller.