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three pairs of lovers with space


Thomas Lanier Williams (26 March 1911 – 25 February 1983), better known by his pen name of Tennessee Williams, was one of the foremost American playwrights.

Presented here is an excerpt from a letter he sent his close friend the novelist Donald Windham in 1943, when he was thirty-two, in which he briefly described his love-making with a boy of fifteen.

The letter was published in Tennessee William's Letters to Donald Windham, 1940–1965, edited and with comments by Donald Windham (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1977), pp. 104-5.

[1647 Ocean Ave., Santa Monica, Calif.]
[September 20, 1943]

Tennessee Williams in 1945

Dear Donnie:

[...] My 6 weeks away from the studio which terminate Monday have been a busmaker’s holiday. I’ve written far more than I did at the studio. [...]

I have just had an orgy with a Ganymede of 15 years exactly, met on the Palisades.[1] Moaned like a wounded bird pierced twice by the arrow of love, and I have just sent him home to get there ahead of Mama who works on the swing-shift. If Saint Oscar[2] wasn’t working with me this summer I would wind up not in Mexico but San Quentin.[3] There are only two times in this world when I am happy and selfless and pure. One is when I jack off on paper and the other when I empty all the fretfulness of desire on a young male body. There must be a third occasion for happiness in the world. What is it and where? I shall have to find it, it is the Holy Grail. Have you any idea where it is?

[1] The Palisades was a park in Santa Monica with fine views of the Pacific and coastal mountains.

[2] Presumably  referring to the then easily most famous modern homosexual, Oscar Wilde, a  lover of boys who might well be regarded as a saint for the suffering he endured on account of what he stood for.

[3] Probably a reference to San Quentin State Prison in California.



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