Tennessee Williams, Born Today, Forever Quotable

williams“Time is the longest distance between two places.” — Tennessee Williams, The Glass Menagerie

Tennessee Williams was born on March 26, 1911 — he would be 103 years old today — and died in 1983. Barely a season goes by where one of his plays is not performed. The most recent on Broadway was The Glass Menagerie. 

Here are some favorite lines from his plays:

“What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.” ~ A Streetcar Named Desire

“When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.”
Camino Real

“What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof? I wish I knew.  Just staying on it I guess as long as she can.”
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

“We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.” ~ The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore

“What on earth can you do on this earth but catch at whatever comes near you, with both your fingers, until your fingers are broken?”
Orpheus Descending

“Everybody is nothing until you love them.”
― The Rose Tattoo

“I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell the truth, I tell what ought to be the truth. And it that’s sinful, then let me be damned for it!”  ~ A Streetcar Named Desire


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

1 thought on “Tennessee Williams, Born Today, Forever Quotable

Leave a Reply