The Diaries of Carlotta Monterey O’Neill
Excerpts From October 26, 1931 – February 19, 1937
The following transcriptions are excerpts of Carlotta Monterey O’Neill’s diaries held in the Eugene O’Neill repository within the Yale Collection of American Literature at the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Carlotta’s handwritten diaries span the years between 1928-1943, and are compiled in 15 volumes of green “Daily Reminder” books accounting for each calendar year. The entries chosen for inclusion herein are selected for their insight into the O’Neills’ life and time at Casa Genotta.
While Eugene’s “Work Diaries” are available through Yale University Press, as prepared by Donald Gallup, Carlotta’s diaries have only previously been published in bound volumes of facsimiles. Carlotta’s journals are invaluable for their documentation of the daily travails of the genius, and are inimitable for their personal narrative on the building of Casa Genotta, The Great Depression, the production of Ah, Wilderness! and Days Without End, the signing of Bennett Cerf and Random House as O’Neill’s publisher, the coming of WWII, and the intimate moments of love and passion between the playwright and his wife.
The daily diary entries featured here were taken over the course of several visits to the Beinecke Library in New Haven. While we admit that there are certain inconsistencies between these transcriptions and Carlotta’s actual writings, we attest that no information is falsified and there are very few instances of inaccurate recordings. Unable to reproduce Carlotta’s exact pen strokes and layout, these digital entries omit Carlotta's technique of underlining words and sentences to accentuate her manuscripts. Throughout the text, the occasional series of periods (…) indicates that a portion of the material was omitted due to the handwriting being illegible or the information too personal to record.
The diaries are the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to Carlotta Monterey’s legal heirs and their assigns. The permission to reproduce these transcriptions is courtesy of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library.