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Roman Spring of Tennessee Williams
Some people remain in the places that they were born, others meander until they find the place that fits their skin. These places choose the person as much as the person chooses the place. Such is the case with Tennesee Williams and several locations, New Orleans in particular in one of these places. The ancient city of Rome is another.
Tennessee Williams would immediately call Rome “the capitol of my heart” when he first visited on holiday in 1948 after he found success on Broadway. This tour will loosely follow his path, taking in all of the ancient and iconic sites but also places of a personal interest of our author.
" “As soon as I crossed the Italian border my health and life seemed to be magically restored,” he wrote in his memoirs. Williams spent much of the next decade in Rome, which became the backdrop and inspiration for one of his most personally and creatively fruitful periods — as well as the setting for his 1950 novella, “The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone.” Despite recurring bouts of writer’s block, when the sensitive, melancholic playwright found himself “battering my head against a wall of creative impotence,” he wrote many of his greatest works here, in whole or in part, including “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof,” “The Rose Tattoo” and “Baby Doll” during numerous extended visits to the city. To search for Williams in today’s Rome is to explore the vestiges of that heady, messy period after the fall of Mussolini but before the so-called Italian economic miracle of the 1950s and 1960s. When he arrived in 1948, the newly open city was the epicenter of a just-dawning golden age of Italian neorealist cinema. The dollar was strong, prices were low, and, as Williams put it, “an Americano could get away with a whole lot.” "-- from The Roman Season of Tennessee Williams By Charly Wilder
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