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SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH by Tennessee Williams
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SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH (original 1959; edition 1962)

by Tennessee Williams (Author)

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271599,846 (3.49)12
Tennessee Williams knew how to tell a good tale, and this steamy, wrenching play about a faded movie star, Alexandra Del Lago, and about the lost innocence and corruption of Chance Wayne, reveals the dark side of the American dreams of youth and fame. Distinguished American playwright Lanford Wilson has written an insightful Introduction for this edition. Also included are Williams' original Foreword to the play; the one-act playThe Enemy: Time--the germ for the full-length version, published here for the first time; an essay by Tennessee Williams scholar, Colby H. Kullman; and a chronology of the author's life.… (more)
Member:BrookeBurgess
Title:SWEET BIRD OF YOUTH
Authors:Tennessee Williams (Author)
Info:Unknown (1962)
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

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Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams (1959)

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Showing 5 of 5
Is it because I'm not a man? Is it because I'm not living during the early 20th century? Is it because I'm only in my early 20s? Is it because I'm dumb?
Some of the previous statements must be true, because I couldn't relate to any character in this book.

Sure, I can understand most of them, Williams has done a great job. Their motives and emotions are crystal clear to the viewer...but I couldn't care less.

The washed out, formerly stunningly handsome man tries to make it big, but is bitch-slapped by life and realizes he has not only lost the ones he loves, but his youth as well.
We've seen this scenario many times, mostly in films, and maybe this is one of the reasons that I couldn't engage emotionally enough in this story. It's mostly a character development drama, with a plot I've seen before, and don't care about, and characters that I have nothing in common with.

It's beautifully written and it's apparent that Williams is very talented and did the best possible job in writing this.

Still, for me, it was something that I'll probably have forgotten in a year or two. ( )
  Silenostar | Dec 7, 2022 |
You know, I can't figure out exactly what it is that I want to criticise about this. I didn't like it, but I also can't pinpoint why or what was wrong with it. There's something about Williams' writing that is just like that. I don't really like what he does, but there's also nothing wrong with it - there's just a tone or SOMETHING that I really don't get and doesn't gel with me. Of the three plays I've read by him, I think this was probably my lease favourite (I like Streetcar best, I suppose, though I still had my issues with it too.) ( )
  thebookmagpie | Aug 7, 2016 |
You know, I can't figure out exactly what it is that I want to criticise about this. I didn't like it, but I also can't pinpoint why or what was wrong with it. There's something about Williams' writing that is just like that. I don't really like what he does, but there's also nothing wrong with it - there's just a tone or SOMETHING that I really don't get and doesn't gel with me. Of the three plays I've read by him, I think this was probably my lease favourite (I like Streetcar best, I suppose, though I still had my issues with it too.) ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
You know, I can't figure out exactly what it is that I want to criticise about this. I didn't like it, but I also can't pinpoint why or what was wrong with it. There's something about Williams' writing that is just like that. I don't really like what he does, but there's also nothing wrong with it - there's just a tone or SOMETHING that I really don't get and doesn't gel with me. Of the three plays I've read by him, I think this was probably my lease favourite (I like Streetcar best, I suppose, though I still had my issues with it too.) ( )
  hoegbottom | Jan 30, 2016 |
3
  kutheatre | Jun 7, 2015 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Epigraph
Relentless caper for all those who step
The legend of their youth into the noon.

Hart Crane
Dedication
To Cheryl Crawford
First words
Quotations
CHANCE:
Princess, the great difference between people in this world is not between the rich and the poor or the good and the evil, the biggest of all differences in this world is between the ones that had or have pleasure in love and those that haven't and hadn't any pleasure in love, but just watched it with envy, sick envy. The spectators and the performers. I don't mean just ordinary pleasure or the kind you can buy, I mean great pleasure, and nothing that’s happened to me or to Heavenly since can cancel out the many long nights without sleep when we gave each other such pleasure in love as very few people can look back on in their lives…

[Last lines:]
CHANCE: (rising and advancing to the forestage) I don’t ask for your pity, but just for your understanding – not even that – no. Just for your recognition of me in you, and the enemy, time, in us all.
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Disambiguation notice
This is the play Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams. It should not be combined with any of its screen adaptations (or any other adaptation of the play).
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Tennessee Williams knew how to tell a good tale, and this steamy, wrenching play about a faded movie star, Alexandra Del Lago, and about the lost innocence and corruption of Chance Wayne, reveals the dark side of the American dreams of youth and fame. Distinguished American playwright Lanford Wilson has written an insightful Introduction for this edition. Also included are Williams' original Foreword to the play; the one-act playThe Enemy: Time--the germ for the full-length version, published here for the first time; an essay by Tennessee Williams scholar, Colby H. Kullman; and a chronology of the author's life.

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