John Osborne quotes
Birthdate: 12. December 1929
Date of death: 24. December 1994
Other names: John James Osborne
John James Osborne was an English playwright, screenwriter and actor, known for his excoriating prose and intense critical stance towards established social and political norms. The success of his 1956 play Look Back in Anger transformed English theatre.
In a productive life of more than 40 years, Osborne explored many themes and genres, writing for stage, film and TV. His personal life was extravagant and iconoclastic. He was notorious for the ornate violence of his language, not only on behalf of the political causes he supported but also against his own family, including his wives and children.
Osborne was one of the first writers to address Britain's purpose in the post-imperial age. He was the first to question the point of the monarchy on a prominent public stage. During his peak , he helped make contempt an acceptable and now even cliched onstage emotion, argued for the cleansing wisdom of bad behaviour and bad taste, and combined unsparing truthfulness with devastating wit.
Quotes John Osborne
„Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamppost what it feels about dogs.“
Quoted in Time magazine, October 31, 1977. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/printout/0,8816,945814,00.html
Also attributed to Christopher Hampton by the Sunday Times Magazine (16 October 1977)
Number 7; said to have been an old joke in the music-halls at the time the play was written.
The Entertainer (1957)
„This is a letter of hate. It is for you my countrymen, I mean those men of my country who have defiled it. The men with manic fingers leading the sightless, feeble, betrayed body of my country to its death.“
"A Letter To My Fellow Countrymen", Tribune (18 August 1961)
„George Dillon: [I]t's easy to answer the ultimate questions – it saves you bothering with the immediate ones.“
Epitaph for George Dillon, Act II (1957)
Co-written with Anthony Creighton.
„John Osborne spoke out in a vein of ebullient, free-wheeling rancour that betokened the arrival of something new in the theatre – a sophisticated, articulate lower-class. Most of the critics were offended by Jimmy Porter, but not on account of his anger; a working-class hero is expected to be angry. What nettled them was something quite different: his self-confidence. This was no envious inferior whose insecurity they could pity.“
Kenneth Tynan, Tynan Right and Left (1967) p. 13
Look Back in Anger, Act II, sc. I (1956)
Number 13; this, the music-hall entertainer Archie Rice's acid farewell to his audience, also appears on Osborne's gravestone https://web.archive.org/web/20071020084223/http://www.shropshiregallery.co.uk/towns/clun/IMG_0277.html.
The Entertainer (1957)
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