Elia Kazan on Tennessee Williams: He Sought A Woman

Interview with Elia Kazan
Conducted by James Grissom

At the beginning of our lives, at virtually every crossroad, and at the very end of our days, we seek out a woman, or women, for counsel and comfort. I do not know why this is, but I felt that Tennessee [Williams] did, and so I asked him why it was that women were this ever-present help. Tennessee said he thought women were equipped to heal and to inspire because they are equipped by biology, experience, and desire to take care of things. The sad thing, Tennessee added, is that they never receive the thanks they deserve and want, and so they keep repeating their generosity, waiting for the reward the world (of men) withholds from them.

This is brutal and this is survival, I suppose, and Tennessee was the only man I ever knew who flew in the face of this cycle and displayed his thanks and offered a reward.

In every situation that called for a solution, he sought a woman.

© 2014 James Grissom


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