A Rhetoric Of Outcasts In The


More than a half century has passed since critics and theater-goers recognized Tennessee Williams (1911-1983) as an important American playwright, whose plays fellow dramaturge David Mamet calls "the greatest dramatic poetry in the American language" (qtd. in Griffin 13). Williams's repertoire includes some 30 full-length plays, numerous short plays, two volumes of poetry, and five
volumes of essays and short stories. He won two Pulitzer Prizes (for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1947 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955), and was the first playwright to receive, in 1947, the Pulitzer Prize for drama, the Donaldson Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award in the same year. Although ...

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three Donaldson Awards; a Tony Award for his 1951 screenplay, The Rose Tattoo; a New York Film Critics
Award for the 1953 film screenplay, A Streetcar Named Desire; the Brandeis University Creative Arts Award (1965); a Medal of Honor from the National Arts Club (1975); the $11,000 Commonwealth Award (1981); and an honorary doctorate from Harvard University (1982). He was honored by President Carter at Kennedy Center in 1979, and named Distinguished Writer in Residence at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in 1981.
In addition to kudos from critics, Williams held for many years the attention of audiences in America and abroad. By 1955 his reputation was firmly established; that year's Broadway production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ran for 694 performances (Roudané xx). Some years after their first Broadway
runs, four of his plays were revived successfully there: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1974), Summer and Smoke (September, 1975), Sweet Bird of Youth (October, 1975), and ...

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kind of influence on the history of a national cinema. (205) Despite Williams's luminous career, when I turned to The Modern Language Association electronic database I discovered that relatively few scholarly examinations of Williams's work exist. The MLA lists only 589 entries using the descriptor, "Tennessee Williams"-- a paltry figure compared to Eugene O'Neill (considered by many critics to be Williams's main competitor for the title of premier American playwright). The MLA database lists more than 1,146 entries for O'Neill. The number of scholarly examinations of Williams's work represents a fraction of the number of dissertations, essays, and books written about other important ...

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Added: 7/22/2006 03:52:51 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 1478
Pages: 6

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