The Time and World That I Live In

  • Michael Paller


Police harassment, surveillance, and arrest; gay men incarcerated in violent wards; a government-sanctioned, systematic drive to hound homosexuals from their jobs: This was the atmosphere in which Williams wrote Camino Real. While problematic as a play, Camino Real is also an important document in the history of gay characters in American drama. At the height of a period unprecedented in its fear, paranoia, and homo-phobia, Tennessee Williams created an openly gay character for a play to be produced commercially on Broadway. Moreover, all of the damning comments of latter-day critics notwithstanding, only Tennessee Williams, among all his contemporaries, presented on a Broadway stage the image of an unashamed, democratic, and unvarnished gay man, ex-pert in the sorts of sexual habits that seem to make recent critics (even the gay ones) as uncomfortable, even as homophobic, as any 1950s cop, politician, or commentator.


American Drama Terra Incognita Armed Guard Prothonotary Warbler Civil Service Commission 
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© Michael Paller 2005

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  • Michael Paller

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