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Memoirs

3.97  ·  Rating Details  ·  604 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
For the "old crocodile," as Williams called himself late in life, the past was always present, and so it is with his continual shifting and intermingling of times, places, and memories as he weaves this story.

When Memoirs was first published in 1975, it created quite a bit of turbulence in the mediathough long self-identified as a gay man, Williams' candor about his love l
...more
334 pages
Published 1976 by Bantam Books (first published 1975)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,391)
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Brian
Jun 26, 2007 Brian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoirbio
Trashy, tragic sweetness, went down very smoothly but made me a little sad in spots, most likely in a similar way to the cocktail barbituate combos he became famous for downing. The man is endlessly fascinating and, regardless of his addictions - and there were many, was still phenomenally talented.
شادي  عبد العزيز
لا شك في حيوية تنيسي ويليامز التي لا تقل هولاً عن صراحته

إلا أن السيرة أجمل في ثلثها الأول وفصلها الأخير، أما ما عدا ذلك فتفاصيل علاقات شخصية أقرب للنميمة، يمكن أن تكون ممتعة لمن على دراية أو اتصال بالحياة الفنية الأمريكية، ويمكن (حلبها) أحياناً للخروج بخلاصة ممتعة تجعلها أقرب للنقاط الثلاثة.

كذلك، فالسيرة تشجع على تجربة ويليامز مرة أخرى في مسرحيات مكتوبة أو في روايته (الربيع الروماني للسيدة ستون)

كعادة أسامة منزلجي في ترجماته، الترجمة لا يمكن وصفها بالخطأ، وإن كان من الصعب وصفها بالجمال، وكالعادة:
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Joe
May 31, 2007 Joe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Williams' Memoirs is a beautiful attempt to capture the complex nature of one's self and one's art. In a stream-of-consciousness/free-associative style Tennessee opens up about his experiences, and focuses on his loves and losses. He is a true connoisseur of written English, and knows exactly when to embellish or to back off, all for the sake of drama. In Memoirs, he takes his skill and deconstructs his life, giving the reader a look into who created some of the greatest theatrical pieces in the ...more
Michael
Mar 16, 2009 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"People please, if you have never read Tennessee Williams' Memoirs, run yourself a warm bath, turn off all your appliances, pour yourself a glass or wine and...treat...your...self!"

This was a fascinating portrait of not only a truly unique and complex individual, but of a time lost in America - that of the bohemian. I recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the theatre and writing but you may be disappointed by the lack of actual insight to his writing and his process. This is more of a re
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Olea
Jun 28, 2015 Olea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cum singur recunoaste, Tennessee Williams si-a inceput memoriile cu gind de profit: “adevarata mea viata intensa este munca mea, memoriile reflecta periferia vietii mele intense”, numai ulterior gasind placere in a rememora momente din viata si pe oamenii care l-au insotit. Contrar asteptarilor obisnuite (de a citi memorii centrate pe opera literara si dramatica, sau pe familie) Tennessee Williams ne poarta prin hatisul iubirilor sale carnale, cu o sinceritate dezarmanta in legatura cu variatele ...more
Kara
May 18, 2011 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simultaneously reading the bible and war and peace was making me seriously consider the upsides of functional illiteracy. Based on the juxtaposition alone between these texts I liked this novel, but it has merit in and of itself. I don’t usually read memoirs but I assumed that the life of the person who wrote a streetcar named desire had to be interesting- and generally speaking, it was. Nothing overtly profound was written but it seemed like a candid revealing conversation- predominately about ...more
Jonathan
Oct 31, 2014 Jonathan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer-lit, lives
This was the first memoir I ever read, while I was at school. It opened a whole new world to me, because at the time (mid-1980s) I just didn't think a gay man would write an open account of his life. How wrong I was, and utterly relieved that someone with the stature of Tennessee Williams could be this revelatory about himself. He edited certain aspects out, unknown to me at the time, and played around with the truth somewhat, but that doesn't stop this being a wonderful, funny, sad and inspirat ...more
Isla McKetta
Dec 14, 2013 Isla McKetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There are many different types of memoirs and this belongs more closely to the tell-all than those with a thematic arc. Although he shifts wildly backward and forward in time and I hardly knew who anyone was, Williams's voice captivated me and I was interested in his story. He writes little about writing, but the story of the effect an artist can have on the people around him is instructive. It either degrades at the end or I was ready to be finished. Still, I am glad I read it and now I want to ...more
David
Feb 02, 2015 David rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm surprised I hadn't read these memoirs before now. TW published them 8 years before he left our world (in 1983). In 1980, in the middle of a long blizzard storm and a transit strike in NYC, I managed to see one of the 14 performances of his 'Clothes for a Summer Hotel' on Broadway. Admittedly, I mainly wanted to see Geraldine Page, who starred in it. I wasn't, at that point, really writing plays seriously - but if I had been, the thought might have come to my mind that it might not have been ...more
Richard Jespers
Nov 09, 2014 Richard Jespers rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some Nuggets from the Book
On “structure”:
“I realize how very old-fashioned I am as a dramatist to be so concerned with classic form but this does not embarrass me, since I feel that the absence of form is nearly always, if not always, as dissatisfying to an audience as it is to me. I persist in considering Cat my best work of the long plays because of its classic unities of time and place and the kingly magnitude of Big Daddy. Yet I seem to contradict myself. I write so often of people with no m
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Ray Stickle
Aug 12, 2014 Ray Stickle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A stream-of-consciousness telling of a life: "Do you think that I have told you my life story? I have told you the events of my life, and described as best I could, without legal repercussions, the dramatis personae of it. But life is made up of moment-to-moment occurrences in the nerves and the perceptions, and try as you may, you can't commit them to the actualities of your own history." This is the story of a life told by a Tennessee Williams who is near the end of his own life. There are fon ...more
Annette
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Erika
Jun 06, 2011 Erika rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book, but then I love Tennessee Williams. It's a very candid look into his personal life that helped shape his work, rather than the work itself. It can be sporadic at times, it jumps from the present to past several times in a chapter, but it comes across as if you are sitting in the room with him as he is reminiscing about his life. For any fan, it is a must read.
Liz Thompson
Feb 24, 2008 Liz Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a copy of this book with John Waters' signature--who did the introduction--inside the front flap of the book. This was the main focus of last year's Tennessee Williams Festival in New Orleans, which was overrun by harlots, tramps, cross-dressers, queers, no-goods, wanderers, and little old white southern ladies. Where else can one find such a diverse crowd?
Nathan
Sep 27, 2007 Nathan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
this was real good, but...i had tennessee way up on a pedestal and then when i read his memoirs i was sort of disappointed about the way he talks about people and things...like sex (he was a ho i think) and other things. but it was probably good for me to be disillusioned. i still like him.
Monty
Feb 02, 2010 Monty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Livewire, intense ramble through Williams early life - his loves, drinking and stories are to the fore as is tragedy and real sadness.
Very honest, and bitingly funny and cruel. Loved it all..
Rock
Mar 13, 2016 Rock rated it liked it
Shelves: memoirs, box-e
Tennessee Williams was apparently not worried about coming across as a horny pubescent when he was writing these.
Pam Mezaraups
Interesting to see what was most important or memorable to Tennessee Williams in his life. Obviously his work and his amatory pursuits and his liquor and pills. Amazing what he accomplished given his mental state and his self-medication. Not the book to find out meaning or criticism in his plays. They are all his children and he needs not explain or educate.I also read Lahr's biography and far more informative in a factual examining way. It helps in reading the Memoirs because he skips around in ...more
Miguel
Feb 29, 2016 Miguel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trata-se, como o título indica, de uma autobiografia escrita ao sabor da memória, seguindo um fio condutor cronológico mas cheia de derivas e dispersões, avanços e recuos no tempo, constantes chamadas à actualidade do escritor enquanto a escrevia. Trata-se, além disso, de um texto que recusa assumidamente a objectividade narrativa, em que predomina o discurso directo, muitas vezes acompanhando a própria corrente de pensamento do autor. Tudo isto torna o livro fascinante, pois o que se perde em o ...more
Nina
Apr 21, 2013 Nina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I first became interested in Tennessee Williams when I saw the movie A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). I was struck by how lyrically eloquent several of the lines were. The writer really captured sentiment, characters, life very well. So, I read the play. Then, I wanted to know the background of this fellow who had such a gift for writing, so I picked up this book. I have read it twice now and each time I learn something new. Since he is such a brilliant writer, he could not help, of course, but ...more
Kaitlyn Barrett
Sigh. Disappointing book, this one.

I would expect from Mr. Williams a book of profound depth about the art of writing, storytelling and the theatre or a book of juicy stories about famous people and scandalous goings on.

This book is neither.

Mr. Williams specifically writes that he didn’t want to write a book about writing because while he’s happy to air his personal laundry, his writing life and his work habits are very personal and not for public consumption. I’d be fine with that if the writi
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Robo Veres
Dec 02, 2015 Robo Veres rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recenzia aici: http://intoarcepagina.ro/recenzii-car...

Citind cartea vedem cum Williams ne prezinta evenimentele, sarind de la prezent la trecut, avand grija sa nu plictiseasca cititorul, fiind constient de umorul sau negru.

„Cei mai multi dintre dumneavoastra apartineti la ceva ce va ofera stabilitate: o familie, o pozitie sociala definita, o implicare intr-o organizatie, un mijloc sigur de existenta. Eu, insa, traiesc ca un tigan nomad, sunt un fugitiv. Se pare ca nici un loc nu ma mai poate c
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Paul
Sep 13, 2009 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The author himself within these pages repeatedly notes what’s lacking from these Memoirs is a discussion of any trade secrets of his genius and bedeviled writing, that whether seen on stage, screen or page, has a searing impression – but inside this almost stream of conscious recount of the playwright’s the conditions of his existence are certainly given an airing, revealing a carnal and psychological and psychotropic recipe, dizzyingly reason enough for his success. Tennessee boozes, drugs, and ...more
Andreea  Piturca
Feb 21, 2014 Andreea Piturca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book. Honest, direct and with a sense of humor. It provides a window into the heart and mind of this talented playwright. Tennessee Williams does not hide his flaws from the reader. He presents himself with all his weaknesses and
strengths, with all all his flaws and qualities, all wrapped in self irony. A roller coaster of emotions and one of my favorite books.
David
I have never seen any play or movie that Tennessee Williams wrote but the candid details in his memoirs are very lively. He writes as if he is writing journal entries and they are loosely chronological. He does not reveal very much about his internal world but more reports events that took place- especially the men with whom he was romantic. It is illuminating to learn how he manages a gay life style during such a homophobic time. His bohemian relationships and travels kept the book entertaining ...more
Steven
Jan 01, 2015 Steven rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have no idea if anything in this book is absolutely truthful, but it makes for a fascinating read. Williams is certainly frank about his drug and alcohol abuse, and his assessment of his career troubles (as of 1975) is disturbing if not a little self-pitying. There are also many honest disclosures of his sexual exploits. We learn much more about Williams' sister, Rose, and his mother, Edwina, although Williams remains rather close-mouthed about his writing methods. It's sobering to consider th ...more
Iiris Onerva
I think I'm giving this four stars out of loyalty - it's hard to say. The book seemed to become more awkward the closer the memories got to the moment of writing, which is very understandable. Williams is both reassuringly human and frustratingly human. I don't think he wrote this for me. I think he wrote this for a contemporary audience thinking he was going to die soon and thinking he could get the last word in a hypothetical debate. Four stars for the anecdotes, for driving in cars and arrang ...more
Madara
Mar 24, 2013 Madara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ir tādi autori, kuru nedrīkst iepazīt pareizi, tradicionāli.
Tādiem no sākuma ir jānoskatās teātra izrāde, tad memuārus.
Un tad ir jāsaprot - jā, viņš ir traks, viņš ir lielisks, viņš ir...neparasts, nepareizs, ideāls.
Un tikai tad ir jāsāk lasīt gan par brīdinājumiem, gan ilgām.

Kā teikts pēcvārdā, šajā grāmatā Tenesijs vairāk atvēra savu bikšu priekšu kā sirdi. Negribēja jau runāt par darbiem, runāja par Dzīvi. Un mainīja arī manu attieksmi pret to pagājušajā gadā. Dullāk, trakāk...pareizāk. Patie
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Jason Poorman
Jun 30, 2008 Jason Poorman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't have a lot of experience reading memoirs, but I do know that I enjoyed this book tremendously. (Of course I'm going to be biased, because TW is my favorite playwright.)

This memoir is sometimes aloof and sometimes achingly personal. There are many hilarious moments, but there are also moments of profound sadness. I've given this book four stars instead of five, because I wish Williams would have discussed his craft more than he did. But I think his goal was probably to sell as many copie
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Sally
Thank goodness that's over!
His descent into madness, graphically described as best it could be, tragically imploded the joviality with which he began these memoirs.
Lordy, the drama of a true drama queen!
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Thomas Lanier Williams III, better known by the nickname Tennessee Williams, was a major American playwright of the twentieth century who received many of the top theatrical awards for his work. He moved to New Orleans in 1939 and changed his name to "Tennessee," the state of his father's birth. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof ...more
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“Time doesn't take away from friendship, nor does separation.” 806 likes
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