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Book Title: La notte dell'iguana|
The author of the book: Tennessee Williams
Date of issue: January 1st 1965
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 1.70 MB
Read full description of the books La notte dell'iguana:I have always wanted to read this book after seeing the film but I somehow never got around to it. It actually took the weather here in France to point me in the right direction. We have had so much rain recently that for some obscure I kept on muttering the title of this play because I knew that a storm had been involved (although I couldn’t remember in what context) from the time I saw the film.
The play is set at the Costa Verde Hotel (which appears to have known better days) in Puerto Barrio, near Acapulco, on the west coast of Mexico. So the setting is exotic in itself but there’s something exciting about reading a play, especially with the asides and comments on and off the stage that are thrown in. I do like a bit of action I must confess and the shouting and roaring, I believe, adds to the atmosphere. For example:
(Wild with rage she turns to Maxim)
(Girl’s voice - Off)
(Voices continue, fading, Shannon returns brokenly to the veranda. Maxine shakes her head)
(Rushes off, shouting at the Mexican boys)
(Pedro goes into a leisurely loping pacer and disappears through the foliage)
(Cutting in, with the bonking sound of a panicky goose.)
AND finally, the most important one:
(The Mexican boys appear with a wildly agitated creature, a captive iguana tied up in a bag…The iguana will naturally have to be masked and should not be heard until he is mentioned in Act …)
I loved that.
The title really intrigued me too. I kept on trying to imagine why the iguana was in the title and if so, how would it appear in this book. I did know that:
“Storms figure greatly in Williams’s work and in all the Night of the Iguana iterations, and as we see here, they have literary associations that connote apocalyptic turning points that carry within them the hope of release. All that will be needed to carry out the stormy climax of the story is the captive iguana to signify the key characters’ plight—that they are all in their own way at the end of their ropes.”
So when the iguana finally made its entrance and, I continued reading, I could see why it was there and also its importance. I could indeed see the iguana’s plight as shown in the above comment that I came across from another review but to me it meant “choice”. The comparison between what was a defenceless, captured animal with no choice due to this, and the choices of the four main characters, those of the defrocked cleric, the Reverend Dr. T. Lawrence Shannon, who is prone to the odd nervous breakdown with sexual pursuits thrown in, especially young girls; the penniless Hannah Jelkes, a globe-trotting artist accompanied by her grandfather Nonno, an endearing poet and nonagenarian (what a splendid sounding word) who recited poetry to guests in hotels and finally writes that fantastic poem for Harpers, and the hotel owner, Maxine Faulk, who is an old friend of the cleric.
Maxine is rather taken with Shannon and is more than welcome to share most things with him, including her bed. Shannon likes to hedge his bets and sees in Hannah, a sort of kindred-spirit. He tries to determine what her sexual appetite is like and she rather shyly admits to two encounters when it is pretty obvious that her needs and wants are different to Shannon but still there is the prospect of a new life. So… what would you do? Take the safe route or the possibility of adventure and a new life, even if there are uncertainties and hardship? I know which route I would follow.
But the ending was not what I expected it to be. Drat!
One thing is for sure. Should the opportunity ever arise that I can see this play, well I’ll jump at it. I loved this book/play. It has stayed in my mind's eye, to be savoured when I need to revisit it.
Splendid Mr Williams! I salute you for bringing such pleasure to mere mortals such as myself. Lynne.
Read information about the authorThomas 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 in 1955. In addition, The Glass Menagerie (1945) and The Night of the Iguana (1961) received New York Drama Critics' Circle Awards. His 1952 play The Rose Tattoo (dedicated to his lover, Frank Merlo), received the Tony Award for best play.
Characters in his plays are often seen as representations of his family members. Laura Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was understood to be modeled on Rose. Some biographers believed that the character of Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire is also based on her.
Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie was generally seen to represent Williams' mother, Edwina. Characters such as Tom Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie and Sebastian in Suddenly, Last Summer were understood to represent Williams himself. In addition, he used a lobotomy operation as a motif in Suddenly, Last Summer.
The Pulitzer Prize for Drama was awarded to A Streetcar Named Desire in 1948 and to Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in 1955. These two plays were later filmed, with great success, by noted directors Elia Kazan (Streetcar) with whom Williams developed a very close artistic relationship, and Richard Brooks (Cat). Both plays included references to elements of Williams' life such as homosexuality, mental instability, and alcoholism. Although The Flowering Peach by Clifford Odets was the preferred choice of the Pulitzer Prize jury in 1955 and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof was at first considered the weakest of the five shortlisted nominees, Joseph Pulitzer Jr., chairman of the Board, had seen Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and thought it worthy of the drama prize. The Board went along with him after considerable discussion.
Williams wrote The Parade, or Approaching the End of a Summer when he was 29 and worked on it sporadically throughout his life. A semi-autobiographical depiction of his 1940 romance with Kip Kiernan in Provincetown, Massachusetts, it was produced for the first time on October 1, 2006 in Provincetown by the Shakespeare on the Cape production company, as part of the First Annual Provincetown Tennessee Williams Festival.
Other works by Williams include Camino Real and Sweet Bird of Youth.
His last play went through many drafts as he was trying to reconcile what would be the end of his life. There are many versions of it, but it is referred to as In Masks Outrageous and Austere.
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