How could I have forgotten to tell you about our evening activity on Day 2? We went to see the movie Fugitive Kind with a very young Marlon Brando, equally young Joanne Woodward, and the Italian actress Anna Magnana. I had forgotten how much a heart throb Brando was and how lovely Joanne Woodward was (and still is in my estimation). I didn't know anything about Magnana, but she was a big name in Italy who sort of learned English specifically for this movie, and who became a respected actress here, too. Tennessee Williams wrote the original play so it was an important movie in many ways.
I didn't like it very much. I'm not sure I really understood it. I don't know a great deal about Williams nor have I read more than one or two of his plays. There are several reasons for all that.
Among them, may be the fact that I was an English literature major. I grew up listening to my mother read English authors outloud as well as reading myself mostly children's literature written by British authors. Yes, there were also books by Americans but not as many. I chose to study what I knew and loved - English lit, and I didn't study American lit until I decided to become a teacher when I realized I needed to know our authors as well. I also must confess that I had a difficult time with Tennessee Williams, but that was probably because I was too young to understand what he wanted and needed to convey. After watching the movie, I was thoroughly depressed and not sure why it was such an unremittingly, unrelievedly dark plot. There is no light at the end of that tunnel at all!
So what. Well, here it is. Although I have an outsider's understanding of the huge issue his homosexuality was, there's more to the man than that. Now I have have to find out more about Tennessee W than we learned when visiting his Key West home. Now I have to read more of his plays (oh, yippee!) and see if I can find out what drove him. And now I may also have to read other literature written at that time because I know that he was not the only dark writer. So that also leads me to think I'd better return to American history of that time, also.
Oh my, back to history again. First Truman and now the playwright Williams.
I think I need a pretty picture.