Tennessee Williams: Joy in the Completion

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

It's a mistake to look for or hope for satisfaction from work after it is completed. We cannot be fulfilled by reactions to our work; money from our work; imitations of our work. The satisfaction is within--or should be within--the commission of the work. And then it's over, and on you go. But we all want the acclaim and the recognition of what we did with particular scenes and paragraphs and conclusions, and this is folly. Don't look to others to fulfill you: Look to the work. No one to my mind is guiltier of this than I am, but I am always counseling Truman [Capote] to find joy in the work; to find joy in the gift; to find joy in the completion.

© 2018 James Grissom


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