The theater, the cinema and ourselves (1947)

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7. SAROYAN Saroyan ought to be the name of a drink—which indeed it sounds like—and of a distinctly intoxicating one. But pure Saroyan, that is the drink itself, plays actually by the author, can be had in very different strengths, the time of your life is pure Saroyan but it is not the very heady kind, all through the play you feel that those scenes in the bar, or something very like them, might have happened. the beautiful people, on the other hand, is as strong as he can make it, it has the reality of fant- asy not of life. As with a strong in- toxicant you must forget everything but the sensation of the moment, so with neat Saroyan human doubts must become the doubts of humanity not of individuals. The atmosphere must remain true to it- self, you must not plunge now and again, as you do even in the pur- est Saroyan, into something intensely intimate and per- sonal. "He is frail and he's frightened but I've found him," Agnes whis- pers and suddenly becomes very much Agnes, for a moment THE TIME OF YOUR life. (Arnold Marie, Frederick Valk, Walter Crisham.) 1946. 16