Something Cloudy, Something Clear

Overview

The scene is a beach shack on Cape Cod, during the summer of 1940, where August, a fledgling playwright, is rewriting the play intended for his Broadway debut. He is distracted by his infatuation for Kip, a handsome Canadian dancer and draft dodger, who is visiting with a wealthy and protective young girl named Clare, reputedly his sister. When Clare, who is not all she claims to be, goes off with a gangster friend, August takes advantage of her absence to lay suit to the sexually ambivalent Kip. But while he ...
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Overview

The scene is a beach shack on Cape Cod, during the summer of 1940, where August, a fledgling playwright, is rewriting the play intended for his Broadway debut. He is distracted by his infatuation for Kip, a handsome Canadian dancer and draft dodger, who is visiting with a wealthy and protective young girl named Clare, reputedly his sister. When Clare, who is not all she claims to be, goes off with a gangster friend, August takes advantage of her absence to lay suit to the sexually ambivalent Kip. But while he wins his case, there is as much pain as pleasure in their liaison, as Kip proves to be both terminally ill and unable to reciprocate August's obsessive passion. And, as a counter theme, August must also negotiate with the fawning, penny-pinching producers, whose crass commercialism he turns aside with a fierce defense of his artistic integrity. In the end we know that his play, like his sexual compulsion, will come to grief—but we are also aware that the artist, and the vision he must pursue, will remain undaunted and undiminished despite all the obstacles and frustrations that surely lie ahead.
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Editorial Reviews

NY Post
...Williams' plays are carved in the cavern of his soul and in the caves of his own experience.
NY Times
...the playwright is back writing about a protagonist he really knows—himself.
Library Journal
This previously unpublished autobiographical playit is based on Tennessee Williams: Memoirs (LJ 11/1/75)was written late in Williams's life and is now being published through his trust. Williams offers a fictionalized remembrance of the pivotal 1940 summer at Provincetown, Cape Cod, where he retreated to rewrite a play intended to be his Broadway debut. While there he had an affair with a Canadian draft-dodger/dancer, Kip, who later died of a brain tumor. Eve Adamson, director of the original 1981 production, maintains in the introduction that the play "seeks a reconciliation between love and art, life and death, and to use two phrases which recur in the playexigencies of desperation and negotiation of terms." Unfortunately, a thin plot and weak characterizations make it a minor work in Williams's dramatic canon. However, as one of his most personal plays, bearing the mark of Williams's poetic beauty and pathos, it is recommended for all academic and large public libraries.Ming-ming Shen Kuo, Ball State Univ., Muncie, Ind.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780811213110
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Pages: 96
  • Sales rank: 1,434,385
  • Product dimensions: 5.13 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.27 (d)

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