Hello everybody! We're four students (Kate, Olga, Ann & Lena) of the Department of Foreign Languages and Area Studies of Lomonosov Moscow State University. This is our first sample blog dedicated to American Literature issues and to elaboration of our Final Web-Project. If you're interested - welcome!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Good evening


Oh, I think I found a treasure!


Here you'll find the scanned collection of Williams' novels.

By the way, I've chosen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. If you go to the American Centre, you won't find any Tenesse Williams there, because I took the only book resembling the one from the link above. One remained, containing The Night of the Iguana. Besides, at the Centre I found two books with some critical essays, I'll look through them next time when I visit it.

In the photograph you'll see the book I lent :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

"I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really."
-- Tennessee Williams


And this is the key to Tennessee Williams' plays. He depicted characters who managed to survive in a cruel and rotten world. They are not exceptionally beautiful or exceptionally smart, but not because they are rotten. Had they been born and lived in another, better world, they could have become absolutely different. They just cannot resist the pressure on their inner worlds from the society. And from that point of view many characters are very much alike to the author himself. Tennessee Williams was brought up in a rather poor family, later he had to take care of his disabled sister for a very long time, what's more, he was a homosexualist - so he knew what it was like to be an OUTCAST. Very few of those who admired him so much really understood him, took him as a human being and not as a playwriting machine: "You're always having to compete with yourself. They always say, 'It's not as good as Streetcar or Cat'. Of course it's not. At 69, you don't write the kind of play you write at 30. You haven't got the kind of energy you used to have." (T.Williams)
All his characters may be seen as survivors, as people who did not deserve such a life but who nevertheless had to live it - or die.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Birthday of Tennessee Williams!




Oh, Gosh!
Yesterday was
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS' BIRTHDAY!

He would be 96! (In a few years we may celebrate his centenary! :)



On this occasion I would like to add some biographical information and photos of Thomas Lanier Williams (that is his original name), because I found that we didn't acquaint our readers (I hope they'l appear soon) with the author of plays that we are dwelling on! So -->

Thomas Lanier Williams
was born on March, 26, 1911, in Columbus, Mississippi. He was a second child (he had an elder sister Rose and a younger brother Walter Dakin) in the family of Cornelius Coffin and Edwina Dakin Williams. His father was born in a prestigeous family from Tennessee, and served as a salesman who became increasingly abusive as his children grew older. His mother also descended from rather noble South family and was quite a smothering, severe person (she is considered as a prototype for Amanda Wingfield in "Glass Menagerie"). Their family moved several times from one state to another, Thomas changed several colleges. His first 'literary prize' (of $5) he got at the age of 16 for the essay "Can a Good Wife Be a Good Sport?". In the early 1930's Williams enrolled in the University of Missouri where he was dubbed 'Tennessee' because of his strong Southern accent; years after he would adopt it as a penname.
In 1944 he wrote "The Glass Menagerie", which had a very successful run in Broadway and won the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award for best play of the season. It changed not ony life Of T.W., but revolutionized American Theatre.

In 1948 he won his first Pulitzer Prize for "The Streetcar Named Desire", the second one he obtained in 1955 for "A Cat on a Hot Tin Roof". Among his masterpieces also considered "The Night of the Iguana".

Tennessee Williams drew heavily on his family experiences in his writings. He was profoundly influenced by two people: his sister Rose and his lover. The first one was a mentally disabled person. She had a lobotomy, which went off badly and she stayed handicapped until death. It was a harsh blow for her brother, and the largest part of her adult life Thomas was looking after her. Williams struggled with depression through out his life. At a young age he suffered a nervous break down, and he lived with the constant fear that he would go insane as did his sister Rose.

Another steadying influence he experienced from his love partner Frank Merlo, with whom they met and fell in love in 1947. They were happy for 14 years, until Frank's untimely death of lung cancer, which lead to a serious long-termed depression of Tennessee Williams and his addiction for alcohol and drugs.

Tennessee Williams died at the age of 71 after he choked on a bottle cap in his room at the Hotel Elysee in New York, but some people believe that he was murdered (it was a hostile time for homosexuals in America).
In 1989, Williams was inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame.

For more structured biographical information you may go here -



Happy T.W. Birthday to all fanciers of his works!!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

The Night of the Iguana*

Hello, girls!
Looking through many of enet pages, at last I managed to find one more play of T.W. -"The night of the Iguana" (oh! It's almost impossible to find more texts of T.W! Nobody wants to read them?! It was a sheer surprise to me when I haven't found "The Streetcar Named Desire" anywhere, because it is now quite popular play to stage). But I can't post it here because it's in zip-archive format. So write me an e-mail, I'll send it to you!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Hello! At last I have something except "flood" to share) I have finally found the text of "The Glass Menagerie", so if you wish to read it - please do - it is not long, but it is definitely worth close attention. http://perso.orange.fr/absolutenglish-972/notes/uscivi/glassmenagerie/scene_by_scene.htm Here you can also find summary and analisys of the play. But coming back to the play itself - I have read it and I am still thinking about it. There is not much "action", and the plot is very true-to-life. A young girl (about 25 years old) Laura lives with her mother and an elder brother, their father left them long ago. Laura is slightly crippled, and that slight disability causes great problems for her. The girl is painfully shy and hates socialising, the only thing that she really loves is her "glass menagerie" - small glass animals. However, Laura's mother longs to see her daughter married. Laura's brother invites his colleague for a dinner, and this "gentleman caller" turns out to be the most popular boy in Laura's class, and once her affection. It seems that the guest likes the girl, and Laura, shy and awkward, is unusually lively and happy with him. I was expecting a "happy end", but the end turned out to be fiendish - the gentleman, having danced with Laura and kissed her and made the poor girl so happy as she probably has never been, declares that he is already engaged to another young lady. To tell the truth, I was completely shoked. How could he? What is going to happen to Laura? Will she ever meet a man who would help her "recover"? T.Williams did not give the answer. But it is no relief. That is my opinion on the story. Of course, I take Laura's side, but other opinions are welcome.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Links*

*the image from the movie "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof"*

I think the epoch of links started in our blog))
Some useful (I hope so) links for those of us who delve into the T.W. plays
"The Glass Menagerie": http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/menagerie/summ1.html (full summary, characters, some analysis + quizes)

"The Streetcar Named Desire":
http://www.gradesaver.com/classicnotes/titles/desire/about.html (full summary, characters, some analysis + quizes)

http://www.gatewayno.com/culture/TWilliams.html - a link with not much info, but not bad bibliography

As we (most of us) have no original texts of any of the plays, so this link -
http://www.propokupki.ru/knigi_na_inostrannykh_yazykakh/sdef/srchTennessee%20Williams/csП/ - could help us with the on-line purchasing of T.W. books (in English)
and
There were three movies shot in 1950, 1973 and 1987 based on "The Glass Menagerie"
(1950 - with Kirk Douglas and Jane Wyman; 1973 (TV adaptation) - won 4 Emmies, Katharine Hepburn starring Amanda Wingfield; 1987 - was nominated for a Golden Globe and Golden Palm in Cannes, but didn't win; John Malkovich starring Tom Wingfield)
and
a film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" (shot thrice again: in 1958, starring Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie The Cat and Paul Newman as Brick Pollitt, has 6 Oscar nominations; in 1976 with Laurence Olivier, Nataly Wood, Robert Wagner; and in 1985 with Tommy Lee Jones and Jessica Lange, won 1 Emmy)
and
"The Night of the Iguana" movie (shot in 1964 starring Richard Burton and Ava Gardner; won 1 Oscar and San Sebastian)

If someone needs some movies - inform me and I'll download which you want

*the pic from wikipedia.org*

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Just a few links

Today I came across some articles that might probably help those of us, who haven't decided on the play she's going to take yet. They contain a very short annotation that reveals the plot in general (so that to make you aware of what you're going to read actually) and some basic analysis that might also be of interest. Just for the beginning. So, here we go:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_On_a_Hot_Tin_Roof


en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Streetcar_Named_Desire_(play)
www.cummingsstudyguides.net/Streetcar.html#streetcar

By the way, I'm taking "Cat on a hot tin roof".

And! ATTENTION! BRITANNIA has moved(as I discovered it by myself today)! If you intend to go they, make sure that you know its new address. Consult this page when needed.

http://www.britannia-elt.ru/

Also I've found an interview with Dotson Raider, who is, according to their words, "a close personal friend of Williams". About T. Williams, surely. Its also provided with the free version of program required to be able to listen to it, which I haven't checked myself yet, though.

http://wiredforbooks.org/dotsonraider/

Yours,
Katya











<- And this is a hyperlink to the article from which the pictures were taken.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


Tennessee Williams (1911-1983)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Hello! It's me and on the topic this time (I know it's mind-numbingly dull, but I can't help it. If yo're annoyed, do leave me a comment)
I've found two photos and decided to share them)

Thursday, March 8, 2007

8 of March!*




It's me again and not on the topic over again <:)


Ladies!

Happy International Women's Day!
Keep it in mind: Spring is coming! ;)

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Time to act!*


Hello, girls!
Don't want to flood! Just to diversify the content of this blog (which is not being refreshed for some reason((
Let's trim our sails to the wind! Wake up, ladies! Time to act! ;)
*I like to move it move it*