Saturday, September 1, 2007

The Arrangement (novel and film by Elia Kazan)

Elia Kazan, (Greek: Ηλίας Καζάν), (September 7, 1909 – September 28, 2003) was a Greek-American film and theatre director, film and theatrical producer, screenwriter, novelist and co-founder of the influential Actors Studio in New York in 1947.

In 1967, Kazan published The Arrangement, a novel about an emotionally-battered middle-aged Greek-American living a double life in California as both an advertising executive, under the name "Eddie Andreson", and a serious, muckraking magazine writer under the name "Evans Arness", neither of which was his birth name, Evangelos Arness. 

The character's "arrangement" of his life takes a huge toll on him, eventually leading him to a suicide attempt and a nervous breakdown. 

Critics saw parallels to Kazan's own life, most notably that the character had briefly been a member of the Communist Party prior to World War II and of course, the character's Anatolian Greek background and Americanization of his birth name. Kazan disclaimed any autobiographical elements and stated that the novel was a work of fiction, nothing more or less. It served as the basis for his 1969 film of the same name.

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