Returning to Tennessee

January 30th, 2011, J and I finally found Tennessee Williams’ grave site at Calvary Cemetery. I blogged about it here.

In November of 2008, we had visited Calvary and its neighbor Bellefontaine Cemetery (read about that in two blog posts found here and here).  We went there to enjoy the fall colors and to photograph the cemetery, not even knowing at the time that Williams was buried there.

I also was not paying attention to the fact that Williams’ 100th birthday was last year! But I plan to revisit him this year on February 25th – the 29th anniversary of his death.  Williams’ will turn 101 on March 26th.

In my EverNote review from Monday, I mentioned that I had been researching TW for a project I’m currently working on. That project is a sequel to my 2009 book, Stealing Wishes, in which the ghost of Williams will make an appearance and play an important part throughout the book. But more about that later.

Besides obvious researching online, I’ve started reading his biography, Tom: The Unknown Tennessee Williams, written by Lyle Leverich in 1995. Sadly, I’ve owned a copy of the book since then and really had no desire to read it until this year. I started it just a few days ago. Even sadder, Leverich died just 4 years after the book was released, so his 2nd volume of the bio has never been published (nor possibly even finished).

Next I plan to Read Harry Rasky’s book: Tennessee Williams: A Portrait in Laughter and Lamentation. At just 148 pages, it should be a very quick read compared to the 600 plus pages of Leverich’s book. I landed it as a free copy on BookMooch last year shortly after visiting his grave. Upon looking into it a bit further, I learned Rasky wrote it after filming a bio about Williams called South, a DVD I will surely have to pick up soon.

I also secured a copy of Williams’ own book entitled Memoirs which hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m eager to have a look at it because it’s in his own words.

And I’ve been eager to watch every film that was made based on his plays.  The classic film stars who played in them is quite impressive: Marlon Brando, Vivien Leigh, Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor, Montgomery Clift…just to name a few!

So what does all this mean for me?  Besides satisfying an odd obsession I seem to be having right now with the playwright, more than likely it means that writing my book will be slow going since I’m writing it as I research.  Oh well, at least I’m having fun doing it, and that’s what matters!

And if you read my blog here, I’m sure you can look forward to lots more posts about TW posts.  Oh, and definitely some pics from the trip on the 25th!

By the way, the portrait above was the cover of a 1962 edition of Time Magazine.

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