Essay I Live Selected Where

For most of his Broadway plays Tennessee Williams composed an essay, most often for The New York Times, to be published just prior to opening—something to whet the theatergoers’ appetites and to get the critics thinking. Many of these were collected in the 1978 volume Where I Live, which is now expanded by noted Williams scholar John S. Bak to include all of Williams’ theaFor most of his Broadway plays Tennessee Williams composed an essay, most often for The New York Times, to be published just prior to opening—something to whet the theatergoers’ appetites and to get the critics thinking. Many of these were collected in the 1978 volume Where I Live, which is now expanded by noted Williams scholar John S. Bak to include all of Williams’ theater essays, biographical pieces, introductions and reviews. This volume also includes a few occasional pieces, program notes, and a discreet selection of juvenilia such as his 1927 essay published in Smart Set, which answers the question “Can a good wife be a good sport?” Wonderful and candid stories abound in these essays—from erudite observations on the theater to veneration for great actresses. In “Five Fiery Ladies” Williams describes his fascinated, deep appreciation of Vivien Leigh, Geraldine Page, Anna Magnani, Katharine Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor, all of whom created roles in stage or film versions of his plays. There are two tributes to his great friend Carson McCullers; reviews of Cocteau’s film Orpheus and of two novels by Paul Bowles; a portrait of Williams’ longtime agent Audrey Wood; a salute to Tallulah Bankhead; a political statement from 1972, “We Are Dissenters Now”; some hilarious stories in response to Elia Kazan’s frequent admonition, “Tennessee, Never Talk to An Actress”; and Williams’ most moving and astute autobiographical essay, “The Man in the Overstuffed Chair.” Theater critic and essayist John Lahr has provided a terrific foreword which sheds further light on Tennessee Williams’ writing process, always fueled by Williams’ self-deprecating humor and his empathy for life’s nonconformists....more

Paperback, 192 pages

Published January 17th 1978 by New Directions (first published 1978)

We Have Only This Life to Live: Selected Essays 1939-1975

Jean-Paul Sartre, edited by Ronald Aronson and Adrian Van Den Hoven. New York Review Books, $22.95 (576p) ISBN 978-1-59017-493-7

Nothing disproves the ill-informed criticisms that philosophy is an obscure field better than a philosopher's writings on allegedly non-philosophical topics. This collection of essays from the existentialist philosopher counters such claims and attests to philosophy's continued relevance without explicitly setting that goal. Now-commonplace subjects, like New York City and jazz, in Sartre's hands become telling indications of the differences between American and European metropolitan lifestyles, their solitary versus communal tendencies. A few essays delve into significant literary works, like Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury and Camus's The Stranger, from which Sartre, with his self-proclaimed appreciation for literary ambiguity, gleans assessments on the human relation to time and the absurdity of the human experience in the world, respectively. Art, poetry, politics, war, oppression and racism, Americanization, the atomizing of soldiers, the serialization of votes, the future of France, and, of course, existentialism also receive Sartre's keen analysis. As with most collections, there's little reason to read the essays linearly, although they are arranged chronologically. Regardless of the topic, Sartre relates everything back to the human condition and our obligation to fully create the self: it's the only chance we'll get. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 02/25/2013
Release date: 05/14/2013

One thought on “Essay I Live Selected Where

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *