Tennessee Williams: A Terrible Strain

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

I feel compelled to tell you that the struggling years, so-called, are the best years: they are the ones you'll look upon with happiness and that salty-sweet veneer of nostalgia. The struggling years are when you still retain the belief that what you are doing is noble and pure and perfectly suited to you. You believe you have a place in the field. You awake each day happy and excited and motivated.

Success, so to speak, may bring money and the release of particular worries, but it also brings the realization of what really happens in your field, your purview, your scene. And this is a nightmare from which you can never awake, and from which you receive release only by returning to your work and trying, not always successfully, to revert to the struggling years, and the struggling artist you were.

Success--as much as we want it; as much as I wanted it--is a terrible strain.

© 2014  James Grissom


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