Thursday, January 3, 2013

Moise and the World of Reason by Tennessee Williams

Moise and the World of Reason by Tennessee Williams
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

What do you say after reading this book?
There are moments of clarity, but they are few and far between. The sentences end without punctuation in the middle of a thought, characters ramble on for pages without knowing what they're talking about.
In the middle of it is glimpses of the former Williams and there are a few vignettes of brilliance, but really this book is too heavily shadowed by Williams stays in mental institutions to be coherent or relevant or readable.

The following passage I think illustrates what I'm saying:
"I have heard many people say they can't do almost anything alone but I have never heard a writer say that he can't write alone. In fact most writers I've known, despite my instinctive aversion to knowing others engaged in the same kind of existence, preferring to know painters and hustlers and practically anything but lawyers and persons who enforce law and others who have commitments to order, an exciting number of whom have recently been exposed as compulsive violators of the same
I know when a sentence is going on too long for the mental breath of a reader not to mention a writer so let me complete what I had started to say and leave it there and go on. I have never known a writer to say that he can't write alone. Now how is that for a simple declarative sentence?"

See there's moments, but then he starts talking to the reader about the difficulties of writing the book, and really, it can't go up from there.
Also for his first novel, having one guy pee into his lover's hands as a sexual kink on page three? Not the best idea.

I wondered how Williams, so well known, could have written a novel that was so not well known. I've read it and now I know.

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1 comment:

CurrerBell said...

Agreed with you in your dislike for Moise, but Moise was not Williams's first novel. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone was his first, and I personally rate that one 4/5 (and I'm not a fan of Williams to begin with). Give Roman Spring a try if you've never read it.