Tennessee Williams, fully Thomas Lanier "Tennessee" Williams

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

American Playwright, Writer of Fiction

Author Quotes

The theatre is a place where one has time for the problems of people to whom one would show the door if they came to one's office for a job.

To be free is to have achieved your life.

What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?

You've got many refinements. I don't think you need to worry about your failure at long division. I mean, after all, you got through short division, and short division is all that a lady ought to be called on to cope with.

Make voyages! Attempt them . . . there's nothing else.

Q. Do you have any positive message, in your opinion? A. Indeed I do think that I do. Q. Such as what? A. The crying, almost screaming, need of a great worldwide human effort to know ourselves and each other a great deal better, we'll enough to concede that no man has a monopoly on right or virtue any more than any man has a corner on duplicity and evil and so forth. If people, and races and nations, would start with that self manifests truth, then I think that the world could sidestep the sort of corruption which I have involuntarily chosen as the basic, allegorical theme of my plays as a whole.

The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that we're brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass.

The Venus flytrap, a devouring organism, aptly named for the goddess of love.

Truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.

What shouldn't you do if you're a young playwright? Don’t bore the audience! I mean, even if you have to resort to totally arbitrary killing on stage, or pointless gunfire, at least it'll catch their attention and keep them awake. Just keep the thing going any way you can.

All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.

Devils can be driven out of the heart by the touch of a hand on a hand, or a mouth on a mouth.

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.

I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.

I'm not living with you. We occupy the same cage.

All good art is an indiscretion.

Don't look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you'll know you're dead.

High station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.

Don't you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn't just an hour but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands and who knows what to do with it?

How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.

I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.

All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.

Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.

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