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MacLeish, Van Doren On T.V.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

Two men, both over 65, "just let the day go by" at a New Hampshire farm -- eating together, fishing, swimming, walking through the fields, and talking. Out of this commonplace experience came a memorable set of dialogues, unobtrusively recorded by television.

The two men were Mark Van Doren and Archibald MacLeish, and they talked of retirement, death, poetry, and life. Van Doren said he sometimes "finds it nice to do nothing at all;" a feeling he will share with MacLeish, who was, in his words, "retired for senility" a few weeks ago from his position of Bolyston Professor of Rhetoric and Oratory at Harvard.

MacLeish asked his friends for advice on the ending of a new play, on which he has been working for three years. "I know the actors," he said, "and their relations to each other; and I feel the end will be just wonderful, when I get to it."

The problem stumping MacLeish is that he is not certain about "the feelings of the characters for the myth within which they moving." The new play, he said, will employ the same four-beat line as in J.B.

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