Eugene Gladstone O’Neill

October 16, 1888 – November 27, 1953


Place of birth: New York City, United States
Best thing about him:  He is one of the most celebrated American playwrights
Most important work: Long Day’s Journey Into Night
Interesting facts:

  • One of the first Americans to introduce realism into his plays, as well as include speeches in American vernacular
  • The Pulitzer Prize was awarded to four of his plays: Beyond the Horizon (1920), Anna Christie (1922), Strange Interlude (1928) and Long Day’s Journey Into Night (1957)
  • He received a Nobel Prize in Literature in 1936
  • He disowned his daughter Oona for marrying the legendary Charlie Chaplin


Eugene O’Neill’s 17 most beautiful quotes:

1.”The old — like children — talk to themselves, for they have reached that hopeless wisdom of experience which knows that though one were to cry it in the streets to multitudes, or whisper it in the kiss to one’s beloved, the only ears that can ever hear one’s secrets are one’s own!”

2.”Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”

3.”One should either be sad or joyful. Contentment is a warm sty for eaters and sleepers.”

4.”Man’s loneliness is but his fear of life.”

5.”Happiness hates the timid! So does science!”

6.”If a person is to get the meaning of life he must learn to like the facts about himself — ugly as they may seem to his sentimental vanity — before he can learn the truth behind the facts. And the truth is never ugly.”

7.”Life is for each man a solitary cell whose walls are mirrors.”

8.”Man is born broken. He lives by mending. The grace of God is glue.”

9.”The past is the present, isn’t it? It’s the future too.”


10.”A man’s work is in danger of deteriorating when he thinks he has found the one best formula for doing it. If he thinks that, he is likely to feel that all he needs is merely to go on repeating himself . . . so long as a person is searching for better ways of doing his work, he is fairly safe.”

11.”To hell with the truth! As the history of the world proves, the truth has no bearing on anything. It’s irrelevant and immaterial, as the lawyers say. The lie of a pipe dream is what gives life to the whole misbegotten mad lot of us, drunk or sober.”

12.”There is no present or future, only the past, happening over and over again, now.”

13.”We have electrocuted your God. Don’t be a fool.”

14.”Don’t cry. The damned don’t cry. ”

15.”You seem to be going in for sincerity today. It isn’t becoming to you, really — except as an obvious pose. Be as artificial as you are, I advise. There’s a sort of sincerity in that, you know. And, after all, you must confess you like that better.”

16.”Supposing I was to tell you that it’s just Beauty that’s calling me, the beauty of the far off and unknown, the mystery and spell of the East which lures me in the books I’ve read, the need of the freedom of great wide spaces, the joy of wandering on and on — in quest of the secret which is hidden over there, beyond the horizon?”

17.”It’s a great game-the pursuit of happiness.”