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Tennessee Williams: Plays 1937-1955 (Library of America) Hardcover – October 1, 2000
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Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Top Customer Reviews
If you have only seen the several movies made in the 1950's from his plays, reading these will prove a revelation for you. Because of the restrictions put on movies in the 50's, most of his works were deeply expurgated, especially any overt references to homosexuality. So reading the original plays here often reveals underlying previously obscure motivations/conflicts of some of the characters: why, for example, Blanche DuBois had fallen from being a privileged Southern Belle to the pathetic wretch who appeared on Stanley and Stella's doorstep.
Unlike many playwrights, Tennessee Williams tended to give long, detailed stage directions. This gives the reader of the plays a novel-like narrative, making them wonderful experiences for readers who do not ordinarily enjoy reading plays. The sensuous atmosphere, the classical -- almost Greek sense of tragedy that looms in almost all of these plays, and the exquisite use of language make this a unique reading experience. The writers who had influence over Williams's style are never named but seem apparent, at least to this reader. For example, when reading "The Rose Tattoo" I was reminded of the great Spanish poet/playwright Garcia Lorca's "House of Bernarda Alba.Read more ›
Williams' works have always moved me with their beautifully flowing lyricism, their romanticism, and sexuality and with the tension they dramatize between convention and individuality,religion and sex, love and violence. The boundaries of some of these tensions have changed since the 1940s and 1950s, but I think Williams stories, characters, and dilemmas are independent of particular times. They are also highly personal and autobiographical. At the outset of his biography, Lahr quotes Williams in the late 1930's vowing to write plays that "were a picture of my own heart". In Lahr's account, Williams later continued to aim "to be simple, direct, and terrible. I will speak truth as I see it.. without concealment or evasion and with a fearless unashamed frontal assault upon life." This volume and its companion allow the reader to measure whether and how well Williams succeeded in his aims.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Tennessee is my favorite modern playwright, and the Library of America publishes quality books -- it's a pleasure to hold them and turn the pages -- actual pages made of paper!Published 18 days ago by Notary Sojac
Loved this. I was able to read all of the plays in one place. Many of his lesser works are present. Read morePublished 3 months ago by MrsEvans
I LOVE TENNESSEE WILLIAMS. HE IS AN AMAZING PLAYWRIGHT AND HIS WORK ALWAYS IMPACTS ME. BUY THIS BOOK IT IS WORTH ITPublished 23 months ago by Miranda Squillace
A perfect companion to the second volume. It's a great addition to your library.
The Red Fur Room: www.TheRedFurRoom.com
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I have every play, short story, novella, poem, memoir published by Tennessee Williams' publisher, New Directions and completed by individual plays available through the Dramatists... Read morePublished on January 8, 2013 by Mark D. R. Stern
This book is a glorified scrap of tissue paper: the pages are so thin you can read the words on the next page. the paper is too delicate to turn. Read morePublished on July 23, 2012 by v
This ws purchased as a gift and the recipient was quite pleased. This book did not contain "Night of the Iguana" which was on his list with some other stories, so I purchased it... Read morePublished on December 16, 2008 by bikerchic29841
Tennessee Williams is in the top ranks of American playwrights. His works are a MUST for serious students of the American theatre. Read morePublished on December 3, 2005 by Sonoma Lass