Thursday, April 27, 2017

W - E. B. White & Tennessee Williams

E. B. White wrote "Charlotte's Web", "The Trumpet of the Swan" and "Stuart Little". He is less known as the co-writer of "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White. E. B. White had a long career as a writer and contributing editor of the New Yorker magazine.

http://www.biography.com/people/eb-white-9529308

Below is a link to an essay of E. B. White which was published in Harper's magazine in 1941 called "Into the Lake".

https://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&pid=sites&srcid=YXNiLmFjLnRofG1zLWVtbWEtYXNiLTIwMTQtMjAxNXxneDoyYzQ1YjU5ODBlMDhkODk2

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Tennessee Williams NYWTS 2
Tennessee Williams estate finances the Sewanee Writer's Conference. You would be hard pressed to find anyone who has not been exposed to two of his plays, "The Glass Managerie" and "A Streetcar named Desire". When I hear his name, I can hear Stanley yelling "Stella" in the background.

Tennessee Williams name was actually Thomas Lanier Williams III. He adapted the name Tennessee from the roots of his hard drinking shoe salesman father. Tennessee Williams life is one of great success, dysfunctional family, and alcoholism coupled with depression in later years.

I would think a biography would be better than most biographies. There are many aspects of his life that will touch you. His sister Rose suffered from schizophrenia. A lobotomy was used to treat this disorder to disastrous results. Tennessee Williams took care os this sister by paying for her treatment at a good New York treatment facility and visited her often. 

One anecdote I read about Tennessee Williams when I read the autobiography of Jordan Massee is that he was prone to start laughing uncontrollably for no reason.

https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poets/detail/tennessee-williams

12 comments:

  1. I read Charlotte's Web so many times as child. I may just re-read it sometime.

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    1. It is a good tale. I thought the same thing.

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  2. Sure wrote some great classic kids books indeed

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    1. Charlotte's Web was read by my parents and all of us kids within a week when I was a young teenager.

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  3. Loved that E.B White essay. Some really nostalgic prose.
    Tennessee Williams led a hard life, but a productive one too. And I am glad to hear that he found room for laughter.

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    1. It is a touching essay. I think Tennessee Williams had a good life all in all. Alcoholism doesn't do much for any of us. A teacher I worked with died of alcoholism a week before her 42nd birthday. She had long since stopped teaching. But it was a great waste of a good person.

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  4. I couldn't even count how many casts I have seen with Streetcar

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    1. You and me together, it would be a feat.

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  5. Authors I know! Yay! I didn't connect White to Elements. Duh, that seems rather obvious now that you pointed it out.

    I can't say the word Stella without yelling it.
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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    1. It was a surprise when I read he was the second half of the Elements of Style. STELLLLLLAAAAA!, for sure.

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  6. Hi Ann - I hadn't realised EB White wrote children's books as well .. I know he wrote elements of style - interesting man to know more about. Then Tennessee Williams - I know of his works, but not his life ... two people I should remember to read up about. Comes of being English I guess ... cheers Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/x-is-for-x-war-facts.html

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    1. His children books are staples of American children's literature. Charlotte's Web is a very special book.

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