Tennessee Williams: The Cultivation of Cruelty

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

There is a cultivation of cruelty that has become far too dominant. The fields are full of anger and resentment and a brutal rating of talents and abilities and measures of worth. I had to tear myself away from all that, drinking the bile and nursing grudges. I came to see that nothing could be done to me if I did not allow it, and if I did not do it to myself. So a critic tells me I have not mattered. I refuse to let him force me to believe this, and I have no control over what others who hear him or read him are to think. I only have control over my mind and my blank pages. That is where reality lives for me.

Nothing is more tiring and back-breaking than anger and stupidity. The relentless bitterness over what has or has not been done to us or for us. There is no harvest in that field, and the gardener ultimately dies in a dry patch of land, alone.

I focus on what matters to me, and I try to matter to others. This is the job I have.

©  2017  James Grissom


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