Saturday, April 26, 2014

RP: First Press Notice of Someone Reading John Lahr's New Biography of Tennessee Williams!!!

REPRINTED from here


I’m immersed in an advance copy of John Lahr’s capacious, insight-heavy book Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage Of The Flesh, which will be published in September by W.W. Norton. Lahr has delivered that rare thing: a critical biography worthy of its subject. It’s as full of insight and overview as it is of memorable offstage detail. Here he is, for example, on A Streetcar Named Desire: “Part of Stanley’s sexual charge is the wallop of his selfishness, which registered the spiritual shift after America’s return to [post-war] normalcy. … Liberated from duty, from sacrifice, from class restrictions –- all the emotional baggage that Blanche brings with her, represented by the loss of the family plantation, the well-named Belle Reve -– each character pursues his own creaturely self-interest.” Precisely.


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