The Night of the Iguana

The Night of the Iguana

Tennessee Williams

Language: English

Pages: 139

ISBN: 0822208237

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Now published for the first time as a trade paperback with a new introduction and the short story on which it was based.

Williams wrote: "This is a play about love in its purest terms." It is also Williams's robust and persuasive plea for endurance and resistance in the face of human suffering. The earthy widow Maxine Faulk is proprietress of a rundown hotel at the edge of a Mexican cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean where the defrocked Rev. Shannon, his tour group of ladies from a West Texas women's college, the self-described New England spinster Hannah Jelkes and her ninety-seven-year-old grandfather, Jonathan Coffin ("the world's oldest living and practicing poet"), a family of grotesque Nazi vacationers, and an iguana tied by its throat to the veranda, all find themselves assembled for a rainy and turbulent night.

This is the first trade paperback edition of The Night of the Iguana and comes with an Introduction by award-winning playwright Doug Wright, the author's original Foreword, the short story "The Night of the Iguana" which was the germ for the play, plus an essay by noted Tennessee Williams scholar, Kenneth Holditch.

"I'm tired of conducting services in praise and worship of a senile delinquent—yeah, that's what I said, I shouted! All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent and, by God, I will not and cannot continue to conduct services in praise and worship of this...this...this angry, petulant old man." —The Rev. T. Lawrence Shannon, from The Night of the Iguana

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chuckles.] There was a young gaucho named Bruno Who said about love, This I do know: Women are fine, and sheep are divine, But iguanas are—Numero Uno! [On “Numero Uno” Shannon empties Maxine’s drink over the railing, deliberately onto the humped, wriggling posterior of Pedro, who springs up with angry protests.] PEDRO: Me cágo . . . hijo de la . . . SHANNON: Qué? Qué? MAXINE: Véte! [Shannon laughs viciously. The iguana escapes and both boys rush shouting after it. One of them dives on it

wonderful wife and mother. But . . . I’m a selfish old man so I’ve kept her all to myself. HANNAH [shouting into his ear]: Nonno, Nonno, the blessing! NONNO [rising with an effort]: Yes, the blessing. Bless this food to our use, and ourselves to Thy service. Amen. [He totters back into his chair.] SHANNON: Amen. [Nonno’s mind starts drifting, his head drooping forward. He murmurs to himself.] SHANNON: How good is the old man’s poetry? HANNAH: My grandfather was a fairly well-known minor

is much more recent, only two years ago, when Nonno and I were operating at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore, and doing very well there, making expenses and more. One evening in the Palm Court of the Raffles we met this middle-aged, sort of nondescript Australian salesman. You know—plump, bald-spotted, with a bad attempt at speaking with an upper-class accent and terribly overfriendly. He was alone and looked lonely. Grandfather said him a poem and I did a quick character sketch that was

typically Mexican way of glossing over an unappetizing fact. What bothered her about the Iguana was the inhumanity of its treatment during its interval of captivity. She had seen them outside the huts of villagers, usually hitched to a short pole near the doorway and continually and hopelessly clawing at the dry earth within the orbit of the rope-length, while naked children squatted around it, poking it with sticks in the eyes and mouth. Now the Patrona’s adolescent son had captured one of

production of fears, fears that could not be put into words because of their all-encompassing immensity, and even supposing that they could be put into language and so be susceptible to the comfort of telling—who was there at the Costa Verde, this shadowless rock by the ocean, that she could turn to except the two young writers who seemed to despise her? How awful to be at the mercy of merciless people! Now I’m indulging in self-pity, she thought. She turned on her side and fished among

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