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i'm just a literary tease, my reputation's on its knees.

Desire & Success

March 14, 2005

I'm reading "A Streetcar Named Desire" this week for American Literature. I'll be writing more about the play itself later, but I wanted to share two quotes from "On A Streetcar Named Success" written by Tennessee Williams four days before the original New York opening of the play:

"The sort of life which I had previous to this popular success was one that required endurance, a life of clawing and scratching along a sheer surface and holding on tight with raw fingers to every inch of rock than than the one caught hold of before, but it was a good life because it was the sort of life for which the human organism was created."

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"You know, then, that the public Somebody you are when you 'have a name' is a fiction created with mirrors and that the only somebody worth being is the solitary and unseen you that existed from your first breath and which is the sum of your actions and so is constantly in a state of becoming under your own volition - and knowing these things, you can even survive the catastrophe of Success!"

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Oooh. I don't know exactly what it is about these two quotes that grabbed me, but grab me they did. I like the imagery of life as a struggle but goddess knows it is every step of the way. I also like the idea of a secret self that no one else ever gets to see - I've always been an intensely private person. People only see the sides of me that I want them to see, and I value above all else my alone time - time to recharge, refresh, and think.

And yet there is a part of me that yearns to be known, to make an impact upon the world around me, even as I cringe from the attentions of those around me. I like this quote because it serves as a reminder that the only side of me that really matters is the real me that shimmers and shines deep within. No one can ever define who I am because I am constantly becoming.

This statement reminded me of the self-actualization aspect of Maslow's pyramid. Heard of him?

"There was once this guy named Abraham Maslow, and way back in 1943 he devised an interesting theory about human nature." This blog entry does a decent job of going through the basics.

Anyway, Maslow was a pretty fascinating guy and his idea of self-actualization always appealed to me, back in my psych major days (ah... fond memories of being forced to participate in weird experiments...).

Moira at 02:52 PM :: Comments (0) :: ::
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