<br><h3> Chapter One </h3> <b>NEW BEGINNINGS</b> <p> <p> I feel strongly that Oliver Wendell Holmes was right. Not to share in the activity and passion of your time is to count as not having lived ... St Augustine said ... 'Never fight evil as if it were something that arose totally outside of yourself. <i>Revd William Sloane Coffin</i> <p> The plays are my autobiography. I can't write plays that don't sum up where I am. I'm in all of them. I don't know how else to go about writing. <i>Arthur Miller</i> <p> <p> On a hot 1st of July in 1963 a thirty-seven-year-old Austrian woman set out from New York on her first trip across the United States. She was heading for Reno, Nevada, but followed a red crayon line drawn on her map by a friend that would take her on a southern route via Memphis and Albuquerque. With eighteen days to go before her assignment was due to begin she and her companion decided to take their time and see something of the country. They were both photographers. Her name was Ingeborg Morath (pronounced Mor-at), while her companion was her long-term lover, the fifty-one-year-old French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. She had worked as his assistant in the early 1950s before, in 1955, becoming a full member of the Magnum photographic agency. He had proposed marriage to her, despite himself being married. Inge declined. 'Darling,' she later told a friend, the writer Honor Moore, 'some people are lovers and some people are husbands. Don't marry anyone unless you want to live with them.' She had had both, a passionate lover in Spain, who had also proposed marriage, and a less than passionate husband in England. <p> Cartier-Bresson had begun as a painter, a friend of the Surrealists, but had turned to photography in the early 1930s. He subsequently met and worked with a Hungarian photographer called André Friedmann, who changed his name to Robert Capa. Later the two of them, together with others, co-founded Magnum, the photographic agency (named after the bottle of champagne kept in their office). Also in the thirties Cartier-Bresson, a onetime enthusiast for the Communist Party, co-directed an anti-fascist film called <i>Victoire de la vie</i>, to raise funds for the Republican medical services in the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War he spent three years in a prisoner-of-war camp, finally escaping and working for the underground, retrieving the Leica camera he had buried and photographing events in the last years of the war. <p> In Paris in the late 1940s, Inge had spent evenings with Capa and Cartier-Bresson when they met Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. She found herself part of the intellectual world, going to galleries and the theatre, seeing a production of <i>The Crucible</i> by a man who was no more than a name to her and who lived on a distant continent. Then, as a photographer, she visited a country that had always fascinated her – Spain. The result was a book, <i>Guerre à la</i> Tristesse, published in 1955 (the English-language edition appeared the following year under the title <i>Festival in Pamplona</i>). She photographed the bullfighter Antonio Ordoñez, celebrated by Hemingway, as he prepared for a fight – intensely masculine but in his ornate clothes and with an attentive dresser, touched with the feminine, like many of the best actors from Olivier to Brando to Malkovich. <p> She went to Spain first in 1953, with Cartier-Bresson, and then in 1954 on her own. There she took a picture of Picasso's sister and her family and in return was given a Picasso drawing that a decade later would hang in her new home in Roxbury, Connecticut. Susequently she would work in Iran, Mexico, South America and South Africa, but confessed that certain countries always exerted a particular fascination: Spain, Russia, China – all countries, she explained, whose influence extended beyond their borders, mother countries. And it was writers and artists, dancers, sculptors and actors, who eased her into these cultures. <p> From the end of the 1950s, she found herself working more often in the United States. The first photographs she took there have something of that awe which struck many European visitors. They feature not simply skyscrapers, but the different architectures juxtaposed seemingly randomly, Gothic church spires seen against angular office buildings. There is often a surreal quality to her images, the most striking example her picture of a llama, its head sticking out of the rear window of a car in Times Square. A photograph of a woman in a beauty parlour with a man, the fingers of one hand on her forehead and the other a blur, is called Perfect Eyebrow but is disturbingly reminiscent of Buñuel's Un <i>Chien Andalou</i> in which a woman's eyeball is slit with a cut-throat razor. In another picture women in fur-lined, figure-hugging costumes skate on the ice inside a bank on Madison Avenue. <p> Inge spoke of the advantage of having begun her career when she did, of inhabiting a less photographed world in which the image had not become as dominant as it later would. There were few photographic archives then, little sense that photographs belonged in books or on gallery walls. Their claim on attention was as a bringer of news, and the photo story dominated magazines which offered to put the world, suitably burnished on high gloss paper, in the hands of an awed and space-bound reader. <p> She was, she said, usually labelled a photojournalist. In many ways it is a misleading description, but one accepted by all members of Magnum. She recalled Cartier-Bresson's explanation for this: <p> May I tell you the reason for this label? As well as the name of the inventor? It was Robert Capa. When I had my first show in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1948 he warned me: 'Watch out what label they put on you. If you become known as a surrealist (surrealism is after all the concept of life that probably influenced me the most – much less so than surrealist painting) then you will be considered precious and confidential. Just go on doing what you want to do anyway but call yourself a photojournalist, which puts you into direct contact with everything that is going on in the world. So let it be, Henri.' <p> <p> Cartier-Bresson and Inge travelled as photojournalists in 1960 on assignment to photograph a film then being shot in the Nevada desert. Having seen nothing beyond New York and Los Angeles, for Inge the journey was her first venture into the heart of America. Together they travelled to Gettysburg and Harper's Ferry and on via the Blue Ridge Mountains to the small town of Asheville, North Carolina, where Thomas Wolfe had been born, an author whose work she knew and admired. Then it was on to Oak Ridge, and its Atomic Energy Museum, to Memphis and Little Rock, where American troops had had to defend the right of black children to attend a formerly all-white school. Inge noted: 'The guide says it is called the city of roses and that there are a couple of things to see but in our minds this is the symbol of racial hatred ... Do they dislike our cameras? Maybe they pay no attention, but their town is stamped and they too and one cannot like Little Rock anymore and just visit it and forget it.' <p> For Inge the trip was her first experience of hamburgers. She had never before encountered drive-ins, motels, slot machines, Main Street America, in-room coffee machines, shoulder pads, the open road where cars <p> run like hurried beetles, stuffed with their passengers, men and women and children, with suitcases and paper bags, with beds and blankets. Sometimes a couple of naked feet stick out of a window to cool off, sometimes a tired arm stretches against the cool wind. There are the carelessly strung villages, the lonely trade posts announcing gasoline and Indian curios and coffee and hamburgers ... The car makes its way past Española into the forests west of Taos [New Mexico] ... There is a loneliness now in front of us, dust weaves a trail behind the car as we wind our way ... Beyond Albuquerque, going west, signposts start to announce the last place to get gasoline before the desert starts, the last place to buy Indian headdresses and Squaw moccasins, the last place to see live snakes for free ... The noises of men die slowly but as our car rolls over the continental division we know that the waters we will drink from now on will belong to rivers that in their turn belong to the Pacific and not anymore to our grey Atlantic and the noises of animals have taken over. The night is theirs. <p> <p> Inge wrote this just three years after Jack Kerouac's <i>On the Road</i> appeared and it is a reminder that before she was a photographer she was a writer, and alongside the photographs she took on this journey she kept a journal that is a record of her induction into a country that would become her own. Sometimes she is in awe of what she sees, sometimes disapproving. Las Vegas, which 'receives you, wearing stage make-up in full daylight and with the sophistication of a ham actor in an ambulant road show', is a 'perishable world', which she characterizes as having 'grown out of barbaric desires to gamble and gain and forget'. <p> They arrived in Reno on the evening of 17 July into 'a world so different from the loneliness of the trip, the world of a movie being started'. At this point Inge Morath's journal ends. It would not be published until after her death, when it appeared with an afterword by her husband, Arthur Miller, who had first glimpsed her in the coffee shop of the Mapes Hotel, where most people involved in the film <i>The Misfits</i> were based. Having by now seen both <i>Death of a Salesman</i> and <i>The Crucible</i> she expected a solemn man. Instead she encountered him as he swam in a pool, telling what she described as 'a very funny story, and very long', a story that would later be published as <i>Fame</i>. Beyond that, he made little impact. 'Arthur was always busy trying to get Marilyn to the set or from the set, so he was very remote. He came to dinner with a group of us – once. Otherwise he had to wait in the hotel. So I didn't really get an impression of him as a person. Everybody was working quite hard. We were working from morning to night, for ten days or so.' She was busy taking photographs, unfazed by the celebrity status of those she met, though Clark Gable did inscribe the back of her collar: 'Clark Gable, Reno, Nevada, July 21st, 1960'. On his advice she later had it embroidered, for fear it would wash out. <p> Though she seems not to have noticed, it was in the heat of the Nevada desert that Arthur Miller's second marriage, to Marilyn Monroe, was turning to ice. It was a film whose climax envisaged the possibility of an older man and a younger woman finding happiness together. The very title, however, had proved ironic as actors and crew watched the dissolution of a relationship that had always seemed unlikely and that would finally prove unsustainable. For the most part, though, this was lost on Inge Morath, whose present commission gave her the opportunity not only to see more of her adopted country but to meet and photograph some of America's leading actors, including the most iconic, Marilyn Monroe. She photographed Miller but found it difficult to persuade them to pose together. The playwright-turned-screenwriter was amusing but she had no thoughts of a new relationship. Besides, Miller was married, if only just. <p> She already knew the film's director, John Huston, from working on the set of <i>Moulin Rouge</i> in London and on <i>The Unforgiven</i>, filmed in Durango, New Mexico. It was on this shoot that she had rescued Audie Murphy, not only a movie star but the most decorated American of the Second World War. As she explained: <p> They went duck hunting. John Huston was there and José Ferrer. Huston was shooting duck so I went off on my own. I had a new telephoto lens and as I was looking through it I saw two heads in the water, way out, where there had been a boat. So I thought, somebody is in trouble. Someone was there so I gave them my camera and stripped down except for my bra, because I figured maybe someone could hold onto it. So I swam out and, indeed, Audie Murphy had fallen into the water wearing these western boots, so that he could hardly swim. The other guy had already been holding him for quite a while. By this time he was too tired to struggle very much. So we put him on my back, holding onto my bra strap, and the other man swam along beside. I would think twice about doing it again, though, because it was an awful long way to get back. All the others had just watched us. None of the big guys had come out to help us. They took us back in a Land Rover and someone from <i>Time</i> magazine got the story. <p> <p> By way of thanks Murphy gave Inge the watch he had worn during the war. Years later it stopped working and her then husband, Arthur Miller, gave it to a man who claimed he could mend it. He promptly disappeared. <p> Having finished her work, Inge returned to New York. Miller would follow some time later in a state of emotional disarray. It was November 1960. Clark Gable, with whom he had got on so well, now died of a heart attack. Here was one more reason for depression, though on 2 December the Magnum photographer Eve Arnold wrote to him saying that she had photographed Gable the week before his death and that he had told her he had loved the part and insisted that not a word should be changed. <p> The film was completed but a second marriage had ended in failure (his first, to Mary Slattery, finally concluding with his relationship to Marilyn), this one lasting only four and a half years. He and Marilyn were no longer speaking. He flew back alone, unsure what lay ahead. <i>The Misfits</i> had been the only piece of sustained writing he had done in seven years. He consulted his psychiatrist, Rudolph Loewenstein, and made a brief contact with Marilyn, retrieving photographs from her apartment and later meeting her at his mother's funeral in March 1961. <p> The <i>Misfits</i> shoot had been a humiliation. Marilyn had treated him with open contempt and her affair with Yves Montand during the shooting of <i>Let's Make Love</i> had been common knowledge. A relationship that was to have redeemed them both had ended in bitterness and recrimination. He took a certain pride in the film itself, though Bosley Crowther's review in the <i>New York Times</i> had been dismissive. He found the characters shallow and inconsequential, as he did the film which, he asserted, 'just doesn't come off'. <i>Time</i> magazine described it as a dozen pictures all rolled into one and offered the opinion that 'most of them, unfortunately, are terrible'. It was 'an obtuse attempt to write sophisticated comedy, a woolly lament for the loss of innocence in American life and, above all, a glum, long, fatuously embarrassing psychoanalysis of Marilyn Monroe and what went wrong with their marriage'. <p> Miller was conscious that the momentum of his career had stopped. In the brief eight years between 1947 and 1955 he had seen four of his plays produced, plays that would come to be seen as highpoints of American theatrical history. Since then he had lost his sense of direction and purpose, distracted by the demands of a wife he had hoped might liberate and support him, but also suffering from the aftermath of his involvement with the House Un-American Activities Committee. He was free now to return to his study, but was uncertain if he should do so. America was changing. A writer who had derived energy from resisting the mood of the times, questioning his country's myths, he now felt he had little purchase on events or attitudes. Asked later why he had stopped writing for so many years, he said that he had become disillusioned with the theatre: <p> The production of <i>A View from the Bridge</i> clinched a growing feeling that the work I was doing was unimportant ... I felt I was a kind of entertainer, succeeding in drawing a tear or a laugh, but it seemed to me that what was behind my plays remained a secret ... I decided that either the audience was out of step or I was. There seemed to be no resolution – and yet there must have been one. I began to write more and more for myself. <p> <i>(Continues...)</i> <p> <!-- copyright notice --> <br></pre> <blockquote><hr noshade size='1'><font size='-2'> Excerpted from <b>Arthur Miller 1962–2005</b> by <b>CHRISTOPHER BIGSBY</b> Copyright © 2011 by Christopher Bigsby . Excerpted by permission of THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN PRESS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.<br>Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.