train to fame

February 8, 2011

i decided to re-read a streetcar named desire on the plane back from chicago. quick, satisfying, dramatic, sexy- i kind of needed the new orleans heat and craziness after the whole blizzard situation. the introduction is an excerpt from tennessee williams’ essay, “the catastrophe of success,” which he wrote in response to his sudden fame after the glass menagerie and streetcar. while i am can in no way relate to the struggles of unpredicted success, i found the underlying carpe diem theme in this last paragraph quite electrifying. now it’s time for the movie with a smoking, sweaty marlon brando!!

“Then what is good? The obsessive interest in human affairs, plus a certain amount of compassion and moral conviction, that first made the experience of living something that must be translated into pigment or music or bodily movement or poetry or prose or anything that’s dynamic and expressive—that’s what’s good for you if you’re at all serious in your aims. William Saroyan wrote a great play on this theme, that purity of heart is the one success worth having. “In the time of your life—live!” That time is short and it doesn’t return again. It is slipping away while I write this and while you read it, and the monosyllable of the clock is Loss, loss, loss, unless you devote your heart to its opposition.”

read the entire text here.

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