Tennessee Williams on Envy

William Inge and Tennessee Williams

Interview with Tennessee Williams
Conducted by James Grissom
New Orleans

Envy is unavoidable, but it's poisonous. Better to envy qualities, like discipline or energy or faith; ludicrous to envy success or talent, because both visit people with utter capriciousness.

I have lost far too many friends to envy--mine and theirs--and it is tragic. No one took anything away from me by having a success, but this is something I've come to believe far too late in my life.

Everyone has the cream, and everyone has the dregs. There is no entirely graceful way to drink from either cup, but you can wash up a friend's disgrace with your company and your sympathy, and you can throw some confetti at his party.

I believed that Bill [Inge] was taking something from me, reaching into my very space and taking something from me. And I pushed him away.

I will regret this to the end.

I lost a friend. To envy. Envy, the battlefield we construct for ourselves.

©  2016  James Grissom


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