- Series: New Directions Paperbook
- Paperback: 179 pages
- Publisher: New Directions; New edition edition (June 17, 1980)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 081120765X
- ISBN-13: 978-0811207652
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 349 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,245,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A Streetcar Named Desire New edition Edition
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From Publishers Weekly
Williams's classic play begins with Blanche DuBois's arrival in New Orleans to stay with her sister and brother-in-law, Stella and Stanley Kowalski. The determinedly genteel Blanche is shocked by their lower-class lifestyle—and by Stanley's frequently aggressive behavior. As Blanche's secrets catch up with her, a seedy reality trumps her love for romance. Rosemary Harris embodies Blanche with all the flare, attitude and Southern drawl commonly associated with the cultural icon. The role of Stanley is so physical that his presence is diminished by the lack of a visual performance, but James Farentino's Stanley is excellent. The overall production quality is excellent with musical segues and sound effects that enhance without distracting the listeners. This recording captures the cast of the 1973 Broadway revival (which won Harris a Drama Desk award and Farentino a Theatre World award). (Feb.)
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In Streetcar Williams found images and rhythms that are still part of the way we think and feel and move. — Jack Kroll (Newsweek)
Lyrical and poetic and human and heartbreaking and memorable and funny. — Francis Ford Coppola
The introductions, by playwrights as illustrious as Williams himself, are the gem of these new editions. — Ken Furtado (Echo Magazine)
Blanche is the Everest of modern American drama, a peak of psychological complexity and emotional range. — John Lahr (The New Yorker)
Top customer reviews
I had read A Streetcar Named Desire once before, but never really caught on at how so much is working underneath the surface of the dialogue. In many estimations, Blanche is a character deeply rooted in pathos and tragedy. Her vision of what the world should be, as opposed to what it truly is, is at the center of her unhinging. Arriving to her sister’s apartment in New Orleans, she has taken a leave of absence from her teaching, and there are more undercurrent issues that have taken hold of her, most notably losing Belle Reve, their childhood home. At her opposite, Stanley, Stella’s husband, represents the brute, harsh, realities of the world.
I think that, in many respects, Williams creates an intensity that builds as the play moves forward until the dramatic final scene. There is a power in Stanley and Blanche’s confrontations, especially in the final scenes as we learn more and more about Blanche’s past. These moments are written so eloquently, so human, clearly by someone who has experienced, witnessed, and reflected on the impact of human sufferings and failings. In short, clearly Williams was a man who could project real human situations into dialogue in such a clear, convincing way.
A Streetcar Named Desire is a very powerful and thought-provoking play, with characters who breathe strong emotion throughout, making the scenes really come to life. It is no wonder that this epic play was made into a fine classic 1951 film with Marlon Brando as Stanley and Vivien Leigh as Blanche.