The next session, Poetry, will be held on Jan 7, 2011, same time, 5:30pm, same place, Cochin Yacht Club. The following session to read Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya will be on Friday Feb 4, 2011. The novel selected for reading after that, some time in April, is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
A Streetcar Named Desire was the play that brought fame to Tennesse Williams; it also launched the Hollywood career of Marlon Brando. Packed in a slim volume is a tiger of a play in which fantasy, deception, love, sex, death, and raw emotions clash. It's a wonderful play to illustrate how a dramatist sets off characters against each other and illumines them brilliantly with the dialogue. The exchanges on the surface have undercurrents which the play's audience can sense. Brando, whom a critic termed a 'sexual terrorist', gave the performance of his life to enliven Tennessee Williams' play on screen, which the readers will view at the CYC on Dec 2 at 6:30 pm.
The scenes between Blanche and Stanley are the most intense, as temptress and terrorist spar with each other. Just as alluring are the scenes where the two sisters, Stella and Blanche, converse and establish where each one stands in their search for love and security.
There was much enjoyment in the dialogue and real debate about the controversial elements: was there or was there not a rape? Does the play illustrate that nobody has a corner on duplicity, as TW said? What is the role of music and the carefully delineated props the stage directions mention? How real are Stella's and Stanley's love for each other?
For a comprehensive account of the reading click here:
Full account and record of session on Nov 26, 2010
or here below ...
Preliminary The next session of Poetry will be held on Jan 7, 2011, same time, 5:30pm, same place, Cochin Yacht Club. The following session to read Nectar in a Sieve by Kamala Markandaya will be on Friday Feb 4, 2011. The novel selected for reading after that, some time in April, is A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce.
STELLA You needn't have been so cruel to someone alone as she is.
STANLEY Delicate piece she is.
STELLA She is. She was. You didn't know Blanche as a girl. Nobody, nobody, was tender and trusting as she was. But people like you abused her, and forced her to change.
TW contrives an ending that damns Stanley; we know it is he who has unhitched Blanche from her senses and sent her to the asylum. We pity her, and in spite of the superb way in which Marlon Brando has imbued extraordinary animal magnetism in the character of Stanley, we recognise him to be what he is: a cruel man without a shred of compassion.
Joe read scene 10 from the book toward the end where Kowalski is going to have a baby and taunts Blanche for all the airs she puts on and her self-deceptions. There was much merriment as Joe unbuttoned his shirt, following the stage directions at one point in the scene, as the hysteria mounts. Blanche is getting desperate, and it's no longer funny for her. Priya said Stanley is taking sadistic pleasure in tormenting Blanche. Joe agreed, but added there is much to admire in the way TW plays off the two against each other; it's an inspired scene, one that both actors would have enjoyed doing.
When Priya took this scene as evidence that Stanley didn't care for Stella, there was a chorus of NO's, with Talitha and KumKum leading.
Indira said Blanche is very fragile. You knew he could smash her; he is so strong and she so weak.
Bobby remarked on the Americanisms, such as “put on the dog”, meaning to celebrate.
Someone said the curtain ('portieres') are an important prop. It divides the female space from the male space, the poker room from the bedroom and bathroom. Poker being a male game, the women have to go off during the game.
Blanche tells Stella she has lost their patrimony of the Belle Reve estate, after suffering “all those deaths” in her family.
STELLA Then don't you think your superior attitude is a bit out of place?