Toward Commitment

Gerald Horne

in The Final Victim of the Blacklist

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2006 | ISBN: 9780520243729
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520939936 | DOI:
Toward Commitment

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John Howard Lawson's marriage to Sue Edmonds was a landmark on his journey toward commitment, and his joining the Communist Party and organizing the Screen Writers Guild were to enhance this process. Lawson navigated life in pre-Depression New York, often in the company of similarly groping members of the Lost Generation, including John Dos Passos and Hemingway. There was a fiery love triangle involving the couple and Dawn Powell, and it further inflamed, since Powell and Lawson “saw each other almost every day for several years.” His next play, Nirvana was a pastiche of nonlinear drama, à la Processional, with no discernible plot, though it bowed to convention in other ways. Lawson received a rude introduction to the political economy of the modern theater. Lawson's highly praised play Loudspeaker is also reviewed. But as his relationship with the New Playwrights was unraveling, another attraction beckoned.

Keywords: John Howard Lawson; Sue Edmonds; Powell; Communist Party; Nirvana; Processional; Loudspeaker; modern theater; political economy; John Dos Passos

Chapter.  6945 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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