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Eugene O'Neill's True Prizewinners

January 06, 2002

In "How the Prize Changed Their Lives" (by Jeff Gottlieb, Dec. 2), Ernest Hemingway's famous words are quoted: "No son of a bitch that ever won the Nobel Prize ever wrote anything worth reading afterward." The most notable exception to Hemingway's rule, however, is Eugene O'Neill. No fewer than five of O'Neill's greatest plays--"The Iceman Cometh," "A Moon for the Misbegotten," "Hughie," "A Touch of the Poet" and his masterpiece, "Long Day's Journey Into Night"--were written after he had won the Nobel Prize. Nearly every important critic of O'Neill considers these late works his finest achievement, far superior to the ones that won him the Nobel. He earned the prize after he won it.

Gerald Dugan

San Diego

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