As a freshman in undergrad, I began taking a lot of fiction classes. One particular year I was on a serious Tennessee Williams kick. I read everything I could find; The Glass Menagerie, Summer and Smoke, The Sweet Bird of Youth. Later when I became obsessed with old movies, I got into A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Paul Newman was BRILLIANT as Brick Pollitt) and Sweet Bird of Youth (also starring Paul Newman).
I watched A Streetcar Named Desire last night and it was disturbingly good. Vivien Leigh is brilliant in her insanity as Blanche DuBois. Marlon Brando is genius as brutish husband Stanley Kowalski.
I have to admit that I was a pretty naive back then. I totally missed the overarching themes of homosexuality in William's plays. I totally missed the fact that he himself was homosexual. He frequently wrote from his life experiences- his mother being a hysteric, his sister's mental illness and lobotomy, his father's preference for his more masculine brother.
Williams was also the brand of writer who chose to live life in order to write about it. He moved to New Orleans which became the setting for A Streetcar Named Desire. I , too, suffer from this malady. I am trying to balance practicality with the desire to experience as much as I can. If I had a million dollars, I would so travel the countryside, travel the world with nothing but a camera and a notebook.
Although a dreamer, I don't suffer from mental illness. So,writing about adventure and escape will have to do for now. I have a semester to finish and a career to launch.
You can read more about Tennessee Williams here.