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Vieux Carre Paperback – October 2, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 116 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions; 2nd edition (October 2, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811214605
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811214605
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #601,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.

More About the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983), one of the 20th century's most superb writers, was also one of its most successful and prolific. His classic works include Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, A Streetcar Named Desire, The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, Camino Real, Sweet Bird of Youth, Night of the Iguana, Orpheus Descending, and The Rose Tattoo.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
*Vieux Carre* is probably the finest play of Williams' "Late" period--and it's terrific, though unfairly neglected. It's much more like the earlier work in terms of a "straight" narrative, and as good as it is I think we'll be seeing many more productions of it in the future.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Shannon L. Yarbrough VINE VOICE on February 28, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Based on Williams' own real life experiences while living in a boarding house at 722 Toulouse Street in New Orleans briefly in the late 1930s, Vieux Carre is one of his lesser known "memory plays."

It is somewhat narrated by "the writer" as he interacts with his land lord Mrs. Wire, her maid, and several other tenants. There's a sexually charged couple - Tye and Jane - and another older couple of female crones who think they are high society but are actually extremely poor. There's also a gay artist suffering from Tuberculosis who has a brief sexual encounter with the writer, the only homosexual scene Williams ever wrote for onstage.

Obviously being a script, much is left up to interpretation. This play isn't as full as Glass Menagerie, but it still has its moments to shine. I'd still love to see this live on stage some day, but those curious readers who don't know much about the "real life" events of Williams life that inspired this work might find themselves bored or lost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 11, 2013
Format: Paperback
VIEUX CARRE was originally produced on Broadway in 1977, where it was a notable commercial failure at five performances. The play requires five women and five men and is performed on abstract set representing a decayed boarding house in the New Orleans French Quarter in the late 1930s.

Williams had tremendous success in the 1940s and 1950s, but he struggled to find a commercial voice in the 1960s and 1970s. VIEUX CARRE is in some ways typical of his output at this time: long on atmosphere and character, short on actual plot, and more interested in tone than tangibles. Although a nameless writer is technically the central character, the play is really an ensemble piece, a collage of the desperate. Mr. Nightingale is a sketch artist who refuses to believe he is dying of tuberculosis; the sisters Mary Maude and Carrie are so poor they are literally starving to death and trying to get by scraping through trashcans on the street; Jane is a society girl on the run from a terminal medical condition. All of them are dominated by the landlady, Mrs. Wire, a half-crazy, half-sly woman who bends the tenants to her will with constant threats of eviction.

Williams was noted for the often sordid nature of his work, and it would be hard to imagine characters and situations more sordid than those presented here. The circumstances are nasty, hard, and cruel; the characters are ineffectual, desperate, and (as Mrs. Wire, the landlady, points out) "dying of loneliness." It is a place where the only hope one can have is for subsistence survival. It is not difficult to see why the play was unsuccessful; it is very dark, very impressionistic, and is more a series of vignettes than it is a seamless whole. Nonetheless, this is very likely the best of William's later plays. Strongly recommended.

GFT, Amazon Reviewer
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By Kay Christensen on February 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
I just finished 'Vieux Carre' yesterday, and I hated that because I'd love to know what happened to the characters after the final scene! I've loved Tennessee Williams for decades, but this was one of his works I wasn't familiar with. By the end of the first page, I felt like I'd opened a gift.
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By Michael T. Duni on September 15, 2014
Format: Paperback
Fine.
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