Tennessee Williams and DESIRE

I’ve gained new (or perhaps renewed) respect for Tennessee Williams of late, as I enmesh myself with his worldview in A Streetcar Named Desire. He is so right on when he argues, through Blanche and really the whole play, that Desire is the opposite of Death. I know for certain that various forms and manifestations of desire motivate much of my life, from the more obvious to the more implicit. Sex, theater, teaching, writing, activism, parenting: so much in life is so much about Desire. And the more Death you see, the more Desire you need to muster to keep feeling alive -- and as safe as a very unsafe existence can allow. The distinction helps me understand a lot about myself, the risks I take – wise and unwise, the multitasking I do, the constant need to fulfill a drive that seems inexhaustible: no amount of publications, no number of shows, no high enough teaching evaluations, no ample enough times of saying or hearing “I love you”… I just need more more more to feel good about myself, to feel safe, to feel alive. So, bravo Tennessee Williams: your words and being Blanche have helped me uncover another layer of myself and this crazy species we are.

1 comment:

Kate said...

A long, long time ago, when you were a grad student at Iowa, I came to visit you and we went to an antique store that had one of those old fortune telling machines. I put in a quater and got my little card that had a quote form Robert Burns. To summerize, Of all the gifts the gofties give us, to see ourselves as others se us.
I've always admired your courage and willingnes to stick your neck out, and I know the mass of insecurities you have, the contridiction is one of the things that makes you a great pal and dynamite actress. I've never understood it, to be honest. If you could see yourself through my eyes, maybe your tummy wouldn't hurt so often.
I'll be your ego boost, any time. I'm sure there is a long line for that privilge!