Freund, Philip 1909-2007 (Philip Herbert Freund)

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Freund, Philip 1909-2007 (Philip Herbert Freund)


See index for CA sketch: Born February 5, 1909, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada; died December 20, 2007. Educator, novelist, short-story writer, playwright, film writer, and author. Freund was described as a writer whose scope was boundless, and whose writings were often profoundly thorough. When he decided to publish a book of creation myths, for example, he did not rest until he had uncovered 500 or more flood myths alone. When he began to study the origins and history of classical drama, he went as far back as ancient Egypt and explored the far reaches of the globe for a history that ultimately filled four volumes and some 10,000 pages. The work completed his long career: the final volume was published very shortly before his death. Drama was one of the subjects that Freund taught as a professor of communication arts at Fordham University from 1957 to 1976, and later as a lecturer on "entertainment and the arts." He taught, often concurrently with each other and with his work at Fordham, at City College, Hunter College, and other affiliates of the City University of New York, between 1945 and 1979. In spite of a seeming tendency toward weight and mass, Freund managed to produce dozens of books in almost every genre: at least ten novels (some of which were segments of lengthy trilogies), eight short-story collections, a dozen or more plays, at least one volume of poetry, a few children's books and works of nonfiction, and as many as 500 training films created for the U.S. Army during World War II. Freund's fiction writings include The Zoltans (trilogy; 1938, 1946, 1947), The Volcano God (trilogy; 1956-58), and Searching (1972). His best-known nonfiction includes Myths of Creation (1964) and the massive, four-volume history of drama, Stage by Stage (2004-07).



Times (London, England), January 23, 2008, p. 60.