Tennessee Williams: Stars and Still Life
Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
Stars--like athletes or magicians or scientists--defy odds, play with movement and light and formulas that may or may not work. We watch in delight and agony, and we all watch to see if they will or will not make the jump, stay on the wire, pull the rabbit out of the hat. Human nature loves a fall and loves the gracious rise from the ground. We live particular plays and short stories over and over again in our lives--to give sense and order to our lives. One of the most potent of these plays is the rise and decline of those who throw some light in our lives. We live vicariously through the success and the failure of our stars. Where are they now? What are they doing? What in the name of God is going on with them? Ah, they're back. Stations of the cross for the stars. I took--stupidly--a course in art once, and we had bowls of fruit on a table, and we had to get the perfect still life. We never got the perfect still life, and the fruit began to rot and shrivel and ooze. That fruit is talent and beauty and what we call 'heat' that can settle on a person or a career or an action. It keeps us moving, I suppose.
© 2014 James Grissom