Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh - The Long Farewell Summary & Analysis

John Lahr
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Summary

Tennessee Williams' long swan song began with the kind of protracted melodrama that characterizes some of his plays. Except in this case, the players were real people with real ties to the playwright. Behind most of his deteriorating relationships—personal and professional—was the tightening grip of his alcoholism and drug addiction. Although his stint at Barnes Hospital provided him with an initial start toward sobriety, Williams had progressed in his disease until July 1971 when, during the opening of his newly-rewritten play "Out Cry" in Chicago, Tennessee "was managing his panic with liberal cocktails of Ritalin and Nembutal, a downer that counteracted Ritalin's amphetamine-like rush," according to the author. Director George Keathley said "he would come in giggling in a high-pitched voice, his eyes bulging and looking off to the side while he opened his mouth as wide as he could—as...

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This section contains 2,421 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Tennessee Williams: Mad Pilgrimage of the Flesh Study Guide
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