Tennessee Williams, fully Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams

Tennessee
Williams, fully Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams
1914
1983

American Playwright, Writer of Fiction

Author Quotes

Man is by instinct a lover, a hunter, a fighter, and none of those instincts are given much play at the warehouse!

Q. Why don't you write about nice people? Haven't you ever known any nice people in your life? A .My theory about nice people is so simple that I am embarrassed to say it.Q. Please say it. A. We'll, I've never met one that I couldn't love if I completely knew him and understood him, and in my work I have at least tried to arrive at knowledge and understanding. I don't believe in original sin. I don't believe in guilt. I don't believe in villains or heroes only right or wrong ways that individuals have taken, not by choice but by necessity or by certain still uncomprehended influences in themselves, their circumstances, and their antecedents. This is so simple I'm ashamed to say it, but I'm sure it's true. In fact, I would bet my life on it And that's why I don't understand why our propaganda machines are always trying to teach us, to persuade us, to hate and fear other people on the same little world that we live in. Why don't we meet these people and get to know them as I try to meet and know people in my plays?

The color, the grace and levitation, the structural pattern in motion, the quick interplay of live beings, suspended like fitful lightning in a cloud, these things are the play, not words on paper, nor thoughts and ideas of an author, those shabby things snatched off basement counters at Gimbel's.

The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

Val: Why do you go out there?Sandra: Because dead people give such good advice. Val: What advice do they give? Sandra: Just one word: live.

When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I'm only really alive when I'm writing.

In all these years, you never believed I loved you. And I did. I did so much. I did love you. I even loved your hate and your hardness.

Marriage is an economic arrangement in many ways, let's face it.

Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams.

The decline of the Western world began with the invention of the wheel.

Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that's dynamic and expressive that’s what's good for you if you're at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. 'In the time of your life live.' That time is short and it doesn't return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.

Walls are built up between people a hell of a damn sight faster than--broken down.

When I write I don't aim to shock people, and I'm surprised when I do. But I don't think that anything that occurs in life should be omitted from art, though the artist should present it in a fashion that is artistic and not ugly. I set out to tell the truth. And sometimes the truth is shocking.

It is almost as if you were frantically constructing another world while the world that you live in dissolves beneath your feet, and that your survival depends on completing this construction at least one second before the old habitation collapses.

Maybe they weren't punks at all, but New York drama critics.

Say a prayer for the wild at heart kept in cages.

The flowers in the mountains have broken through the rocks.

There ain't nothin' more powerful than the odor of mendacity...You can smell it. It smells like death.

We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.

When it comes you'll know that you're dead.

It is planned speeches that contain lies or dissimulations, not what you blurt out so spontaneously in one instant.

Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominately in the heart.

Security is a kind of death.

The future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it.

There are no 'good' or 'bad' people. Some are a little better or a little worse, but all are activated more by misunderstanding than malice. A blindness to what is going on in each other's hearts... nobody sees anybody truly but all through the flaws of their own egos. That is the way we all see ...each other in life. Vanity, fear, desire, competition- ll such distortions within our own egos-- condition our vision of those in relation to us. Add to those distortions to our own egos the corresponding distortions in the egos of others, and you see how cloudy the glass must become through which we look at each other. That's how it is in all living relationships except when there is that rare case of two people who love intensely enough to burn through all those layer of opacity and see each other's naked hearts. Such cases seem purely theoretical to me...

Author Picture
First Name
Tennessee
Last Name
Williams, fully Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams
Birth Date
1914
Death Date
1983
Bio

American Playwright, Writer of Fiction