Vieux Carr�

ISBN-10: 0811214605
ISBN-13: 9780811214605
Edition: 2000
List price: $13.95 Buy it from $9.45
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Description: Born out of the journals the playwright kept at the time, Tennessee Williams's Vieux Carre is not emotion recollected in tranquillity, but emotion re-created with all the pain, compassion, and wry humor of the playwright's own 1938-39 sojourn in the  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Copyright year: 2000
Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date: 10/17/2000
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 116
Size: 5.25" wide x 7.75" long x 0.50" tall
Weight: 0.286

Born out of the journals the playwright kept at the time, Tennessee Williams's Vieux Carre is not emotion recollected in tranquillity, but emotion re-created with all the pain, compassion, and wry humor of the playwright's own 1938-39 sojourn in the New Orleans French Quarter vividly intact. The drama takes its form from the shifting scenes of memory, and Williams's surrogate self invites us to focus, in turn, on the various inhabitants of his dilapidated rooming house in the Vieux Carre: the comically desperate landlady, Mrs. Wire; Jane, a properly brought-up young woman from New York making a last grab at pleasure with Tye, the vulgar but appealing strip-joint barker; two decayed gentlewomen politely starving in the garret; and the dying painter Nightingale, who tries to teach the young writer something about love -- both of the body and of the heart. This is a play about the education of the artist, an education in loneliness and despair, in giving and not giving, but most of all in seeing, hearing, feeling, and learning that "writers are shameless spies," who pay dearly for their knowledge and who cannot forget.

After O'Neill, Williams is perhaps the best dramatist the United States has yet produced. Born in his grandfather's rectory in Columbus, Mississippi, Williams and his family later moved to St. Louis. There Williams endured many bad years caused by the abuse of his father and his own anguish over his introverted sister, who was later permanently institutionalized. Williams attended the University of Missouri, and, after time out to clerk for a shoe company and for his own mental breakdown, also attended Washington University of St. Louis and the University of Iowa, from which he graduated in 1938. Williams began to write plays in 1935. During 1943 he spent six months as a contract screenwriter for MGM but produced only one script, The Gentleman Caller. When MGM rejected it, Williams turned it into his first major success, The Glass Menagerie (1945). In this intensely autobiographical play, Williams dramatizes the story of Amanda, who dreams of restoring her lost past by finding a gentleman caller for her crippled daughter, and of Amanda's son Tom, who longs to escape from the responsibility of supporting his mother and sister. After The Glass Menagerie,Williams wrote his masterpiece, A Streetcar Named Desire, (1947), along with a steady stream of other plays, among them such major works as Summer and Smoke(1948), Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1954), and Suddenly Last Summer (1958). His plays celebrate the "fugitive kind," the sensitive outcasts whose outsider status allows them to perceive the horror of the world and who often give additional witness to that horror by becoming its victims. Stephen S. Stanton has summed up Williams's "virtues and strengths" as "a genius for portraiture, particularly of women, a sensitive ear for dialogue and the rhythms of natural speech, a comic talent often manifesting itself in "black comedy,' and a genuine theatrical flair exhibited in telling stage effects attained through lighting, costume, music, and movements." After The Night of the Iguana (1961), Williams continued to write profusely---and constantly to revise his work---but it became more difficult to get productions of his plays and, if they were produced, to win critical or popular acclaim for them. Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for drama for A Streetcar Named Desire and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. He won the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for these two and for The Glass Menagerie and The Night of the Iguana.

Introduction
Production Notes/Cast List
The Setting of the Play
Vieux Carre

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