The Archbishop's Ceiling by Arthur Miller

Book Review : The Archbishop's Ceiling

By Arthur Miller

  • Publication Date: 2015-12-01
  • Genre: Literary

Book Review

A masterful mix of art, sex, and politics behind the Iron Curtain, by America’s greatest dramatist

In an unnamed Eastern European capital, four writers gather in what was once an archbishop’s palace. There is Adrian, a successful American author struggling with questions about a novel he has set in the city, and Marcus, a once-imprisoned radical who has become a darling of the current regime. Finally, there is Sigmund, perhaps the country’s greatest living writer, who refuses to compromise his artistic integrity to appease the regime. Between them all is Maya, a poet and actress who has been a mistress and muse to each man.

The ornately decorated ceiling above them may or may not be bugged, and the group carefully watches their words as they discuss the play’s central dilemma – should Sigmund stay and resist the oppressive state, or should he defect and pursue his art in freedom? Their conversation poses crucial questions about mass surveillance, morality, and the authenticity of art, and remains as relevant today as it was during the height of the Cold War.

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