Tennessee Williams Quotes

A high station in life is earned by the gallantry with which appalling experiences are survived with grace.

A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.

All cruel people describe themselves as paragons of frankness.

All good art is an indiscretion.

All of us are guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.

All your Western theologies, the whole mythology of them, are based on the concept of God as a senile delinquent.

Death is one moment, and life is so many of them.

Don’t look forward to the day you stop suffering, because when it comes you’ll know you’re dead.

Enthusiasm is the most important thing in life.

For time is the longest distance between two places.

Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person.

I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.

I have always been pushed by the negative. The apparent failure of a play sends me back to my typewriter that very night, before the reviews are out. I am more compelled to get back to work than if I had a success.

I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.

I have found it easier to identify with the characters who verge upon hysteria, who were frightened of life, who were desperate to reach out to another person. But these seemingly fragile people are the strong people really.

If I am no longer disturbed myself, I will deal less with disturbed people, but I don’t regret having concerned myself with them because I think most of us are disturbed.

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it.

In memory everything seems to happen to music.

Life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quickly you hardly catch it going.

Life is an unanswered question, but let’s still believe in the dignity and importance of the question.

Life is partly what we make it, and partly what it is made by the friends we choose.

Luck is believing you’re lucky.

Luxury is the wolf at the door and its fangs are the vanities and conceits germinated by success. When an artist learns this, he knows where the danger is.

Mendacity is a system that we live in. Liquor is one way out an death’s the other.

Most of the confidence which I appear to feel, especially when influenced by noon wine, is only a pretense.

Oh, you weak, beautiful people who give up with such grace. What you need is someone to take hold of you – gently, with love, and hand your life back to you.

Once you fully apprehend the vacuity of a life without struggle, you are equipped with the basic means of salvation.

Some mystery should be left in the revelation of character in a play, just as a great deal of mystery is always left in the revelation of character in life, even in one’s own character to himself.

Success and failure are equally disastrous.

Success is blocked by concentrating on it and planning for it… Success is shy – it won’t come out while you’re watching.

The future is called ‘perhaps,’ which is the only possible thing to call the future. And the important thing is not to allow that to scare you.

The most dangerous word in any human tongue is the word for brother. It’s inflammatory.

The only thing worse than a liar is a liar that’s also a hypocrite!

The strongest influences in my life and my work are always whomever I love. Whomever I love and am with most of the time, or whomever I remember most vividly. I think that’s true of everyone, don’t you?

The violets in the mountains have broken the rocks.

There is a time for departure even when there’s no certain place to go.

Time is the longest distance between two places.

Time rushes towards us with its hospital tray of infinitely varied narcotics, even while it is preparing us for its inevitably fatal operation.

To be free is to have achieved your life.

We all live in a house on fire, no fire department to call; no way out, just the upstairs window to look out of while the fire burns the house down with us trapped, locked in it.

We are all sentenced to solitary confinement inside our own skins, for life.

We have to distrust each other. It is our only defense against betrayal.

We’re all of us guinea pigs in the laboratory of God. Humanity is just a work in progress.

What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it’s curved like a road through mountains.

When I stop working the rest of the day is posthumous. I’m only really alive when I’m writing.

When so many are lonely as seem to be lonely, it would be inexcusably selfish to be lonely alone.

Why did I write? Because I found life unsatisfactory.

You can be young without money but you can’t be old without it.