Tennessee Williams talks with Studs Terkel
BROADCAST: Dec. 1961 | DURATION: 00:54:03
Playwright Tennessee Williams discusses his play "The Night of the Iguana," which was currently playing at the Blackstone Theatre in Chicago. The conversation takes place in Mr. Williams' room at the Blackstone Hotel.
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Studs Terkel Any discussion of Tennessee Williams, I think, must - we must keep one one factor in mind: that any discussion of Tennessee Williams evokes discussion even, I found out, at bars, thank God. And if ever a time when discussion involving the human spirit or the dispirited human is needed it is now, and we're delighted to be guests of Mister Williams, at this moment, in his suite at the Blackstone Hotel. We know that in Chicago right now "The Night Of The Iguana" is playing until December 21 before it opens in New York at the Blackstone Theater.
Tennessee Williams Twenty-third.
Studs Terkel Twenty-third - correction. Mister Williams, I remember something you wrote - it was on the back of a Caedmon record, I think, on which you were reading "The Yellow Bird" - and you spoke of your childhood. And this to me - I immediately thought of something - you spoke of of your Episcopalian, clergyman, grandfather and your father, who was a deft poker player, and you spoke of a puritan and cavalier strains in you, and it occurs to me, this is America, isn't it - the Puritan and the Pagan always embattled?
Studs Terkel Now, I was thinking of, perhaps, explaining the fact that all of your heroes and heroines, the matter of conflicting impulses in them. I thought, perhaps, this might reflect our country, you know. We speak of the Pagan and the Puritan always in battle here. The grizzly [unintelligible]--
Tennessee Williams I think, I think Puritanism is an element more of the Protestant countries - the countries that are Prot-, you know, predominantly Protestant - than it is of those of the Mediterranean nations. You know, the ones that are predominantly Catholic, such as - I'm not giving, I'm not trying to [laughter] make a pitch for one religion against another, but I've noticed in the Mediterranean nations like Italy and Spain and France the Puritan the Puritan complexes are not so evident. But out of these Puritan complexes seems to come a great deal of that friction that makes interesting art.
Tennessee Williams Mhmm.
Tennessee Williams Yes. Well, you see I spent most of my life in a very Puritanical background. My home life was dominated by a very wonderful, but you know, rather Puritanical mother who was in conflict with a very wonderful, but rather profligate father [laughter]. And so I liked, I kind of sided with finally - first I sided with the mother's side and then after my father's death for some strange reason I began to see his point of view better [laughter]. After they put him away in Old Gray. That's the name of the cemetery in Knoxville.
Tennessee Williams Yeah.
Studs Terkel We speak of-. Was moving to St. Louis-. We'll come, perhaps, through in talking about yourself and things you remember too, not that plays are autobiographical - although I suppose there's a bit in all of us, in everything we write or say - but moving to St. Louis was a big factor, was it not, in effecting you?
Tennessee Williams There have been these two biographies about me that came out this season. I found it, find it very very disturbing to have these two [things?] come out. They examine my background, and they dissect my plays as if I were no longer living, it seems to me. And--
Tennessee Williams Yes, as if I were totally out of the picture now and were just a retrospective item. Well, when I, my agent informed me last spring these two - she had first drafts of these two biographies on her desk - I said my God they must think I'm going to kick off. I was really frightened by it [laughter]. Well, now I've got to live with it, and they've got to live with me, because I'm still living and I'm not about to kick off.
Tennessee Williams Because because, you see, in Mississippi we lived in small communities, small towns as a rule, and being grandchildren of the Episcopal minister we always had our social acceptance, you know. It was taken taken for granted, but in St. Louis there was this, there was this money aristocracy, you know. Plutocracy, I think, is the precise word for it. And if you lived in the wrong neighborhood you just weren't the right people. And we had to live most of the time in the wrong neighborhood because there wasn't the money to live in the right one, you see. And we had to go to public schools. We couldn't go to the Country Day School. The equivalent for girls - what was it called now? Well, you know, the school [unintelligible].
Studs Terkel Well, I suppose this is often asked you - I'll ask it though it be a cliche - in "Glass Menagerie", if we may start at the beginning, Jim pretty much reflected your feelings, didn't it - the son, to great extent?
Tennessee Williams Yes, at that time nobody knew my real name was Tom. They all thought my real name was Tennessee, I suppose. I let the character be named Tom. Yes, he did pretty much. I tried to keep him in the background of the play, except as a narrator. The leading characters were the mother and and the and the girl.
Studs Terkel We think of Amanda - Amanda and her sham gentility, yet she was in her own way--. We think of Blanche too to some extent, but it occurred to me in thinking in "Night Of The Iguana" [sic], Lyle Shannon, your defrocked clergyman--
Studs Terkel T. Lawrence Shannon - I thought of him. I don't know if this makes any--. I thought of him and Blanche being two figures in the same boat. He's at the end of his tether. Blanche coming to visit her sister was at the end of hers.
Tennessee Williams He is a little - of course, there many important differences, such as the fact that Shannon is a man with, who is very much concerned with what is going on in society. I mean, if you study if you listen carefully to certain parts of the play, you realize this is a person with - his great redeeming virtue is that he has made himself a true and deep social conscience.
Tennessee Williams Yeah. Even though at this point at which we see him exposed he is in a state of extremely personal disturbance. But still through that personal disturbance you see the presence of a deep awareness of social inequities and the starvation and the misery, you know, of the places he's conducted tours through. He says there's great deal that lies under the public surface of cities, you know.
Tennessee Williams Blanche was, so her personal situation seemed to eclipse everything, you know. For her, you will notice that she didn't - well, there is the speech in which she said we mustn't hang back with the apes.
Tennessee Williams That is the speech that shows the sort of -that's a general philosophical, you know, feeling of hers. But in Shannon's case it seems to be more particularized and more on a more impersonal level somehow.
Tennessee Williams I don't, I have no idea what happens to Blanche after the play ends. I know she was shattered. And the meaning of the play is that this woman who was potentially, who was potentially a superior person was was broken by--
Studs Terkel Brutality.
Studs Terkel Because all of your heroes and heroines are, I suppose, in their own way not only rebels - I was about to say lost, but they seek to find themselves. Shannon, for example, in "The Night Of The Iguana" does meet the kind stranger, doesn't he, in Hannah.
Studs Terkel How would you describe since we have, perhaps, a new figure in American theater in the role played by Margaret Leighton. Was it Kenneth Tynan spoke of your love for what we call the incomplete people? That is, he was not he was not denigrating them. He merely meant our society makes them incomplete, I believe.
Tennessee Williams I've always regarded myself as an incomplete person, and consequently, I've always been more interested in my own kind of people, you know people that have problems. People that have to fight for their reason. You know, the people that to whom, you know, the impact of life and experience from day to day and night to night is difficult and people who come close to cracking and all that. Those are my - that's my world. Those are my people, and I must write about the people I know. And that, perhaps that limits me. I'm sure it must limit me as an artist but; nevertheless, I couldn't create believable characters, if I moved outside of that world. That doesn't mean that I'm altogether a crackpot because I'm not and I can occasionally--
Tennessee Williams I think of course they are. There's never been any question about that, I don't think. And I don't think you'll find many artists who aren't, more or less, in the same situation, because give a person an acute sensibility, and you're bound to find a person who who is under a good deal of torment, especially in this particular time that we are in, I would say.
Studs Terkel Think of think of Blanche for a minute. I mean I'm asking you, the creator, to think of Blanche. I'm thinking of her, for the moment. She represented so many good things too, despite the sham that she seemed to evoke.
Tennessee Williams Well, she said, "I don't tell truth. I tell what ought to be truth." She had the courage to admit that she occasionally embellished upon the real facts. And when she was, her back was to the wall, she had courage and truth and eloquence, I thought.
Studs Terkel I'm thinking of another figure now - someone else who was hurt very easily. Earlier I ask you about the conflict of the of the Pagan versus the Puritan, the battle in "Summer and Smoke" that will soon be coming to Chicago with the magnificent Geraldine Page--
Tennessee Williams Mhmm.
Tennessee Williams There always was, yes. That's why, that's what gave her the palpitations. That was that she was caging in something that was really quite different from her pur-, her spinsterish, puritanical exterior.
Studs Terkel Well, isn't this, isn't this figure almost an archetype - not that all your are the same. There all different. But isn't this figure the one who is caged. It's a phrase that your reputed--
Tennessee Williams It seems to be an obsessive figure with me as a writer. I'm gradually beginning to find other other types to deal with in my work. But it is gradual, and the question is will one man's life be [laughter] long enough to complete the discovery of these other types.
Studs Terkel Tennessee Williams, I'm thinking of this new figure that is in "The Night Of The Iguana", Hannah, who is a little different than the others. A spinster, perhaps, she's a spinster. Not to acquainted with the flesh of life, yet very much with the spirit of it. Yet she seems - there's less, there seems there's less conflict within her than in, say, in Alma.
Tennessee Williams She has come to terms, of a kind, with life, yeah. She's a very very modest person, Hannah. And in that sense, to me, a very beautiful person. I meant, Hannah - the part of Hannah Jelkes in "The Night Of The Iguana" - almost the definition of what I think is most beautiful spiritually in a person and still believable in a person. And I'm still I'm still exploring the character of Hannah. And thank heavens, I have a great artists like Margaret Leighton--
Tennessee Williams To help me explore it because Maggie and I, we're exploring this woman. And Maggie is portraying each night with the most consummate artistry the woman as far as I've created her. And then after the show and between shows we talk over this woman, and we we explore between us still further. You know, Maggie seems to dig this woman. That's why she took the part.
Tennessee Williams What astonished me about some of the reviews - I won't mention names, but at least one or two reviews - is that they didn't see what I was trying to find through the creation of Hannah. I don't see why a woman as unique and as lovely as Hannah Jelkes could be ignored, you know, in a play, especially when she was portrayed as beautifully as she is being portrayed--
Studs Terkel Well, it's interesting that it's Hannah. You see, we think of - off hand we think of the defrocked clergyman, Shannon, as the focal figure, yet as you say he he's had a prototype in a way in Blanche DuBois, the end of his tether. But the new figure then is Hannah, really, is it not, in your world?
Studs Terkel Because--
Tennessee Williams And as I say she's still in the process of creation. The first production of the play isn't for me the final one. Even if this one should close, you know, after a short run, I would go on working on this play until I created Hannah completely.
Tennessee Williams We've had -yes, "Battle Of Angels" eventually became "Orpheus Descending", and not that it was ever successful in either form, but there was certainly - I certainly continued my exploration of the characters in the play over a long period, and I think I will with this one too. I don't think whatever happens to the Broadway reception of "Night of the Iguana" [sic] will will finish my work on "The Night Of The Iguana." I don't think it will.
Tennessee Williams After all, the production - for me the production of a play is only an incident in the life of a play. I mean, there's not only continued work on the play, but there are other productions of the play. Sometimes it's done. It's a failure on Broadway and is a success Off-Broadway as happened in "Summer and Smoke". Sometimes it's a failure in one country, and in another country it's a great success. And consequently, I feel that a play is dynamic and living far beyond the time of its Broadway opening and the opening and the press the following morning. And I don't think I'm going to be too much concerned this time with the critical reception of this play because I know this play, as long as I am living, it will live in me, and I will keep it alive within myself and do all I can to complete it.
Tennessee Williams That's only because I feel that too much of my nervous energy is expended on needless tensions - things that are quite extraneous to the creation of a work. I would rather concentrate on writing the work, and then having it done by unestablished, but excellent, players Off-Broadway, then go through this so exhausting hassle, you know, of--
Studs Terkel Again, this is another reflection of what you were saying a moment ago that it's the play itself, although even mo-, perhaps even more in the the characters within this play who are most important to you as a man of the [unintelligible].
Tennessee Williams Yes, they come, they come alive. They are like living beings to me. They're more alive to me than I am to myself. They are my life. And I don't feel that their life terminates with a Broadway opening, a Chicago opening, a Detroit opening, or any opening.
Studs Terkel Really?
Studs Terkel I remember outside on the sidewalk - this is the point about you, I think, in your writing that is, I think, whether people are pro or con Williams in the plays - what is most important is that you create a great deal of animated discussion at a time when there are so little of it. And that in itself, that there's discussion involving the human being, one way or another, in stress.
Studs Terkel One of your - at least this is attributed to you - one of your, quotation you found a favorite is that "we are all in solitary confinement in our in our skins." You know that phrase the phrase [unintelligible]?
Tennessee Williams Well, the drama in my plays, I think, is nearly always people trying to [read?] each other. In "Night Of The Iguana" [sic] each one has his separate cubicle, but they meet on the veranda outside the cubicles - at least, Hannah and Larry Shannon meet on the veranda outside their cubicles, which is, of course, an allegorical touch of what people must try to do. It's true they're confined inside their own skins or their own cubicles, but they must try to get out as much as - they must try to find a common ground on which they can meet because the only truly satisfying moments in life are those in which you are in contact, and I don't mean just physical contact. I mean in deep, a deeper contact than physical with some other human being.
Tennessee Williams Yeah, it was - no, in Mississippi - various places in Mississippi. Finally, in Memphis where they retired to after my grandfather completed his service to the church. They were, remained so close they were like that old Greek legend: Baucis and what?
Studs Terkel Philemon.
Tennessee Williams Baucis and Philemon, yeah, that's what they were like. And it's been a great inspiration to me, and on the other hand there was my mother and father who were quite the opposite [chuckling]. They were in constant conflict. But I thank God that I have seen exemplified in my grandmother and grandfather the possibility of two people being so lovingly close as they were, that they were almost like a tree - two people that have grown into a single tree. That was the story wasn't it, the Greek legend?
Studs Terkel Mhmm, that's right after they were so good to the two strangers, Mercury and his friend. The the, this is interesting. There were two two kinds of lives you saw from the very beginning, and this reflects itself in one--
Tennessee Williams Two different couples - my grandparents who grew together in wholeness and in, you know, in love, and then my parents who split violently apart and tore the children apart through division and conflict. Yeah, those are the two backgrounds that I had as a, you know, as a forming person.
Studs Terkel And there are so many questions I want to ask you, Mr. Williams, and everything you're saying connects with what with what I am asking. We think of the two playwrights of the American theater. This is again, I quote Tynan who speaks of the two best writers of American prose. Now, he does, though.
Tennessee Williams Mmm
Studs Terkel He speaks of Williams and Miller. And he said, "One: the social playwright who seeks the attainable summit. The other, Williams: the poetic playwright who speaks of the unattainable summit because his aspirations are the unattainable because he's so poetic." Do you follow that?
Tennessee Williams Yeah.
Tennessee Williams Well, I don't think when you're dealing with an artist as creative and as great as Kazan you can't use the word, tamper. Kazan brings to bear an intensely creative imagination. He cannot help but leave his own stamp upon what he does and who would want him not to. I don't want him not to. I just want the meaning of my place to come through, and essentially whenever Kazan has worked on a play of mine he has magnified that play in a good way. He hasn't diminished it ever. Sometimes we've had a little, you know, variance. My viewpoint about how a certain act may go may be divergent from his viewpoint, but after all a play is published, you know, and people can take their choice, and who - I can't say that my viewpoint is right. Perhaps it isn't, and perhaps I need someone like Kazan to modify my viewpoint.
Studs Terkel I think one thing that's significant about your plays, the feeling of actors toward them when they pl-. And also of the - when we think of number of actresses in the American theater today, and just about the top five you can name one way or another found their way as a result of your [unintelligible]. There's Maureen Stapleton, "Rose Tattoo" [sic], or whether it's Geraldine Page who, "Summer and Smoke" and "Sweet Bird of Youth." Name--
Studs Terkel But isn't there something else here? I mean, the fact that the theatricality. I mean, this is, I'm sure, a word always comes to - the theatricality of your writing. That it plays no matter what the sit--
Studs Terkel Because you are continuously, where there is a detractor, you are continuously, I noticed, defended by actors. Almost almost invariably it's the actor who always comes to your defense. The one--
Tennessee Williams But he he was making this point. I mentioned him because he was making this point that every actor he knows, one way or another finds, he may disagree with you on one point or another that you make, or agree with you, but the fact that there is the excitement of being this figure in one way or another is something that is a part of his his good memory.
Tennessee Williams Mhmm.
Tennessee Williams Yes,
Tennessee Williams Carson McCullers and I, yes. We've, we're - she is the person that, I suppose, next to my sister, Rose, Carson is the, of all the women that I know now living, she is the one closest to me, with the possible exception my mother. But in a way, of course, my mother is of another generation. Carson and I are of approximately the same generation. And I feel very close to her, even though often I don't may not see her for months at a time. It's because we have - we seem to have similar attitudes toward things in life.
Studs Terkel I'm not afraid. I'm not afraid. I mean, again if I may, the reference was made of you and your feeling for incomplete people. These are in a sense really, they could be complete under other circumstances couldn't they?
Tennessee Williams They could, I think, under ideal circumstances. But to tell you the truth, I'm not sure I've ever met a complete person. I met many people that seemed well adjusted, but I'm not sure that to be well adjusted to things as they are is a desid- desideratum - is that the word?
Tennessee Williams That which is to be desired. I'm not sure I would want to be well-adjusted to things as they are. I would prefer to be racked by a desire for things better than what they are. Even for things which are unobtainable, then to be satisfied with things as they are. I don't think the human race should settle for what it has now achieved at all. Anymore than I think America must settle for its present state. I think our country - and my people fought for the beginning of this country - and this country I am totally an American, and I'm an intensely patriotic American in a sense that I feel I feel a longing for this country to go forward and be unafraid. I feel intensely American, but I am not satisfied with the present state of things in this country, and I'm afraid of complacency about it. I'm afraid about thinking that all the rest of the world is in error and we are totally right. Nobody is right, and the whole meaning of all my work is that no, there is no such thing as complete right, complete wrong, complete black, complete white. That that we're all in the same boat. And really the boat is the world. You might even say it's the universe. It's all creation is the boat - not just one nation, not just one ideology, not just one system. That everything is in flux. Everything's in a process of creation. The world is incomplete. It's like an unfinished poem. Maybe the poem will suddenly turn to a limerick, or maybe it will turn to an epic poem, but it's for all of us to try to complete this poem, and the way to complete it is through understanding and patience and tolerance among ourselves. That's my idea of patriotism. It's patriotism to the world and to humanity. And I'm afraid Birch Societies - I'm afraid of that sort of thing. That's the most fearful and dreadful thing that we have to face now in this world.
Studs Terkel In your way as a playwright, you are saying this [definitely? differently?] when you speak of - when they speak of your incomplete people, as you say none of us-. Oh, the adjustment, you will not adjust to that which is evil, really. What you feel is evil.
Tennessee Williams Yeah, but I think I know what evil, you know, I think I can recognize evil, and I think most people can. They will try to. My business my vocation, or whatever you want to call it, compels me to weigh evil and good. And consequently I'm, when I'm working I'm in a always in a state of examining. I think I am.
Studs Terkel Yes.
Tennessee Williams Yes, I want to discover all that is evil, and all that is good. I hope that I have a chance to and hope the public will bear with me while I continue the exploration. I'm not a very good writer, but I seem to be a man who's, you know, who has this obsession to explore good and evil.
Tennessee Williams That's my philosophy, my credo, yeah. I don't know where they'll lead, the voyages, and neither did Byron, actually, in the "Camino Real", but certainly this just sitting still is of no constructive purpose.
Tennessee Williams I think one must try to go forward in this world without stepping on other people. And that's the way. The way to progress is by daring to go forward, but not trampling on other beings as we go, if we can help it. God knows I can't say that I have made whatever progress I may have made in life without stepping on people. I suppose I've stepped on many toes.
Tennessee Williams It's done occasionally, yeah. What [won't? will?] be the final - as I say I think the world is is an unfinished poem. It could turn into a limerick, or it could turn into an epic. I don't know which it will turn into, or it could just sputter out.
Tennessee Williams But still [in?] momentary in the at moments, certainly, the violets do break the rocks. There are moments when they do. I'm not sure that image, one should cling to that image too much because after all it's rather a pretty image and there's not a - it's effective image, but it isn't very comprehensive one, perhaps.
Studs Terkel No, but a thought occurred to me - perhaps, it one shouldn't cling to it too much - the thought occurred to me just at this moment as you were saying that, "The violets breaking through rocks", I thought of the non-violent - isn't that strangely enough - the nonviolent - almost a slip of a tongue and yet - the nonviolent movement among these students, in a sense, is violet, is a parallel of violets breaking through rocks too.
Tennessee Williams Yeah.
Tennessee Williams And patience. And we should be very proud of them as Americans. That they are our people and they have conducted themselves with such nobility and patience in these disgraceful circumstances.
Tennessee Williams No.
Studs Terkel You're not. Oh good. Because I remember, since your speaking of Negro and the blues - I know you like the blues very much. I think of Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry were here on "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof"
Tennessee Williams Mmm.
Studs Terkel Is there something that you, on your mind now, that you feel like talking about? There are other things coming to me as we're sitting here talking about the figures in you play. As you say,"They're with you all the time. You're living with them all the time."
Tennessee Williams Well, they're most of my life. I have a little life outside of them, but comparably very little. I hope that now after "The Night of the Iguana" opens I will have a little more. I will take a rest and try to find, try to live a little more as a non, you know, as a person outside the theater.
Studs Terkel They rag me incessantly, and if it gives them great satisfaction, let them have it. But I don't know why they they are so rem- unremitting in this because they, just recently, they said they they said that "Iguana" was, they compared "Iguana" to a turkey, and they said that my incoming play to Broadway appeared from all indications to be a massive turkey. And then they proceeded to quote carefully selected bits from the reviews in Chicago, selected only for whatever damage they could do, and they ignored whatever was said that offered promise and expressed admiration. And then they lifted out of context something that I had said on an interview with Mr. Kupcinet, and they pretended to to, they pretended that it was a remark that I had made about my desire to work off Broadway was made in reference to this play, "Night Of The Iguana." It was not made reference to this play at all. It was only made in reference to my desire to rest for a while, and to work off Broadway till I had recovered my energies from after this present work.
Studs Terkel Has it ever occurred to you, Tennessee Williams, that I - I'm listening to you talking earlier about adjustment. That "Time" is a magazine of adjusted people. You are a non-adjusted man. This is rather interesting, as you--
Tennessee Williams I shall not care to be as adjusted as the gentleman from the show business department at "Time" magazine whom I encountered on a parlor car on a train between Philadelphia and New York when they insisted that I come and join them, and they showed themselves to be merciless sadists.
Tennessee Williams Yes.
Studs Terkel Recently said something very beautiful about adjustment courses at universities that he was blasting. And this matter of adjusting - he was, he's equating this with complacency, and [unintelligible].
Studs Terkel Coming back again to your plays in every respect. This then is it, basically, is it not? I mean, you were, you in a sense are the outcast and that what you consider evil of another kind. Evil, whether it be of harsh commercialism or--
Tennessee Williams I think adjustment and conformity to that which is basically wrong and unjust is not the kind of adjustment we should want. Even though it is acceptable in society, I don't find it acceptable, and I'd rather accept exile from that kind of society.
Studs Terkel Tennessee Williams, another question. I wander a bit, and yet all these are part of a design. I think, I hope, but you are offering it in this way. Southern writers, in recent years, this resurgence of creativity on the part of so many, whether Carson McCullers or Eudora Welty or Flannery O'Connor. Do you consider yourself origi- a Southern writer? Do you consider yourself that?
Tennessee Williams It began sort of with Faulkner, Don't you think? Yeah. He began, I think he began the Southern Gothic movement, as it's called. And Robert Penn Warren and Oda-, I think a great many wonderful writers have come out of the South, say, in the last 30 years. But in the last 5 or 6 or maybe 10 years I don't know that there have been any new ones. I think the shift maybe in another direction now. Yeah.
Tennessee Williams The author of "The Caretaker", and a man like Samuel Beckett. He's an Irishman, though, isn't he, but still I think of them all belong to the British Isles. And John Osborne - fabulous. I like all these new writers from England.
Studs Terkel But Albee, Pinter, the young writers they - the way this - you said something very moving to me, as I remember hearing you on the program. You said you, an established playwright, our most celebrated, find yourself inspired by the younger playwrights.
Tennessee Williams Yes, I do. I like their attitude toward the commercialism of the theater. They say, "Go take a flying jump at the moon." That's what they say to the commercial theater, it seems to me, and I admire them for it.
Tennessee Williams I've been saying it all along. But still I've been having plays produced on Broadway [laughter]. But I, yeah, I know that I've made some compromises, naturally, I have. But I hope that when I have rested a while and go back to work that it will be off Broadway, and that I will not have not be so divided a person. That I will not have as much difficulty in resisting succe- the, you know, the the myth of success as the thing most to think that one must have - the big success, the rave notices, the pleasing of the big mass of people. It hasn't effected my work while I'm working, but I think it has, it has proved to be my, you know, it's an infection that you can't resist, if you are continually surrounded by it. And certainly it doesn't help you as an artist to be surrounded by it. To be - it filters in somehow.
Tennessee Williams Yes, I want to be free. I want to work, I want to work with, for myself really without thinking any more about whether it will get rave notices or be a smash and all that, have a big line at the box office the night after, the morning after it opens.
Studs Terkel No, I don't think so. I think, in a way, this is a portrait, and I should volunteer at this moment that a very endearing portrait of a thoughtful man and playwright, Tennessee Williams. Thank you very much.