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June 9, 2016

Quotations by Tennessee Williams


TENNESSEE WILLIAMS (1911-1983), AN INFLUENTIAL AMERICAN PLAYWRIGHT


 “What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Memoirs

“I don't want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don't tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that's sinful, then let me be damned for it!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “There comes a time when you look into the mirror and you realize that what you see is all that you will ever be. And then you accept it. Or you kill yourself. Or you stop looking in mirrors.”
~ Tennessee Williams

“How beautiful it is and how easily it can be broken.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

“Time is the longest distance between two places.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

“The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

 “I've got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Camino Real

 “Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.”
~ Tennessee Williams

“Physical beauty is passing - a transitory possession - but beauty of the mind, richness of the spirit, tenderness of the heart - I have all these things - aren't taken away but grow! Increase with the years!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The scene is memory and is therefore nonrealistic. Memory takes a lot of poetic license. It omits some details; others are exaggerated, according to the emotional value of the articles it touches, for memory is seated predominantly in the heart.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?—I wish I knew... Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can...”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “Oh, you can't describe someone you're in love with!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The rest of my days I'm going to spend on the sea. And when I die, I'm going to die on the sea. You know what I shall die of? I shall die of eating an unwashed grape. One day out on the ocean I will die--with my hand in the hand of some nice looking ship's doctor, a very young one with a small blond moustache and a big silver watch. "Poor lady," they'll say, "The quinine did her no good. That unwashed grape has transported her soul to heaven.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Being disappointed is one thing and being discouraged is something else. I am disappointed but I am not discouraged.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “Mendacity is a system that we live in," declares Brick. "Liquor is one way out an'death's the other.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “He was a boy, just a boy, when I was a very young girl. When I was sixteen, I made the discovery - love. All at once and much, much too completely. It was like you suddenly turned a blinding on something that had always been half in shadow, that's how it struck the world for me. But I was unlucky. Deluded.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Well, honey, a shot never does a coke any harm!”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“The cities swept about me like dead leaves, leaves that were brightly colored but torn away from the branches. I would have stopped, but I was pursued by something. It always came upon me unawares, taking me altogether by surprise. Perhaps it was a familiar bit of music. Perhaps it was only a piece of transparent glass.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “You are the only young man that I know of who ignores the fact that the future becomes the present, the present the past, and the past turns into everlasting regret if you don't plan for it.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?”
~ Tennessee Williams, Orpheus Descending

 “In all these years, you never believed I loved you. And I did. I did so much. I did love you. I even loved your hate and your hardness.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

 “All pretty girls are a trap, a pretty trap, and men expect them to be.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “Show me a person who hasn´t known any sorrow and I´ll show you a superficial.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “Everybody is nothing until you love them.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Rose Tattoo

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 “We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore

 “Yes, I have tricks in my pocket, I have things up my sleeve. But I am the opposite of a stage magician. He gives you illusion that has the appearance of truth. I give you truth in the pleasant disguise of illusion.”
~ Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

 “I think that hate is a feeling that can only exist where there is no understanding.”
~ Tennessee Williams, Sweet Bird of Youth

 “Some things are not forgiveable. Deliberate cruelty is not forgiveable. It is the most unforgiveable thing in my opinion, and the one thing in which I have never, ever been guilty.”
~ Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

“America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.”
~ Tennessee Williams

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