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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Paul Green, May 30, 1975. Interview B-0005-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Explaining a departure from protest in his art

Green concedes that his work has lost some of its message of social protest, as well as its regionalism, but he argues that he could not keep saying the same thing again and again.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Paul Green, May 30, 1975. Interview B-0005-3. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

JACQUELYN HALL:
Rankin says that …he's critical of your change in your work from your earlier social protest.
PAUL GREEN:
Who is that?
JACQUELYN HALL:
It's a book called Drama and Commitment. It's about the '30s, the drama of the '30s. He says that in your early work was formed by an intense regionalism, social and psychological insights, and then you moved from there to a very patriotic epic drama. He sees that as a real falling away of your social commitment and your insight. Is that the kind of criticism that you ….
PAUL GREEN:
Yes, that's the kind of critcism that Brooks Atkinson of The New York Times made, and I guess that there is something to it. I guess … I have two or three plays out there almost finished now about protest, and I found that I was repeating myself. I have a play about a Negro boy who tried to get into this University early and I don't know why, I worked on it and I found that I was saying my same message. Well, you could say that "in these outdoor dramas now, maybe you are saying the same message." I don't know. After you do a thing …I guess there is a truth in that, but maybe when you keep singing one song, you want to try another song.