Monday, February 14, 2005

WHEN ARTHUR MILLER DIED last Thursday, the world lost a profoundly original and talented writer whose plays moved and often transformed those who saw them: a man who "dramatized the pain in everyday lives" and who "exposed the flaws in the fabric of the American dream." But even more than that, the world has lost one of the few remaining public voices for the idea that individual conscience is the strongest force for good in human existence.

His greatest concerns ... "were with the moral corruption brought on by bending one's ideals to society's dictates, buying into the values of a group when they conflict with the voice of personal conscience."

The individual, in Mr. Miller's view, had an abiding moral responsibility for his or her own behavior, and for the behavior of society as a whole. He said that while writing "The Crucible," "The longer I worked the more certain I felt that as improbable as it might seem, there were moments when an individual conscience was all that could keep a world from falling."

A long list of obituaries and appreciations from publications all over the world and from many of those who knew and worked with Arthur Miller can be found at Arts & Letters Daily (under Articles of Note).

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