Vieux Carre

Vieux Carre

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by Tennessee Williams
     
 

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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

Overview

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.

Building on two decades of Williams scholarship since Vieux Carre was originally published, Robert Bray, editor of The Tennessee Williams Annual Review, has provided a new introduction for the play giving the most authoritative account yet of its background and genesis.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780811207287
Publisher:
New Directions Publishing Corporation
Publication date:
07/01/1979
Edition description:
Older Edition
Pages:
115
Product dimensions:
5.18(w) x 7.96(h) x 0.34(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) is the acclaimed author of many books of letters, short stories, poems, essays, and a large collection of plays, including The Glass Menagerie, A Streetcar Named Desire, Camino Real, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Orpheus Descending, The Night of the Iguana, and The Rose Tattoo.

Robert Bray is an author, editor, and Tennessee Williams scholar.

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