The other day I perused a library for the first time in way too long (free books EVERYWHERE! WOW! AMAZING! SOCIETY!) and I’ve had a recent itch for reading plays. After seeing Fences and feeling so poetically moved by August Wilson I thought hey, I should probably catch up on my Tennessee Williams, I am in New Orleans after all.
I’ve read and loved A Streetcar Named Desire (swoon) although I’m not a Brando fan (sorry bout it) and Stella is ruthless as fuck (just truth). So I finally read The Glass Menagerie in a whopping 12 hours.
It’s so interesting to me that that is the play that is the most famous of Williams’ because to me it was so simple, not to dumb it down. I find the themes of the fall of the Antebellum South absolutely fascinating in his work, and that reaches into Streetcar as well. But I suppose the most moving part of Menagerie is the fact that it is the play that was the reflection of a great portion of Williams’ home life growing up in St. Louis. His sister was similar to Laura and his father was in the picture but he is even quoted as saying that his only sad play was Menagerie, although… I guess I don’t find it as tragic because Tom was able to leave, even if that meant a degree of hopelessness for his sister and mother.
So I’m now reading The Rose Tattoo which is lush and bright and loud and it’s extremely entertaining. Really though, it’s crazy to think that not that long ago there were huge distinctions and overt racism towards Italians whereas now… Everyone is just Americanized, and I’m still shocked reading about racism towards Sicilians because I’ve literally never seen it…. Ever… Times have changed, I guess.
But the big news is that the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival is coming up March 22-26th and two of my FAVORITE WRITERS EVER are doing panels and HOLY SHIT THE EXCITEMENT.
Dorothy Allison slaughtered me with Bastard Out of Carolina and Kiese Laymon, aka the author of LITERALLY MY FAVORITE BOOK I HAVE EVER READ EVER How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others In America is going to be there, and I’m a fucking literary fangirl so I’m trying to keep my cool but holy shit holy shit holy shit the excitement!!!!!!!
It feels good to get this giddy over something again, it’s been far too long! Are there writers at the fest you recognize that I should go see?! Let me know!
Psst… If you’re in the middle of any sort of struggle right now, please read The Catastrophe of Success by Tennessee Williams. It is absolutely incredible. Don’t ever feel alone at any point along this road.