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Tales of Desire, Tennessee Williams

Tales of Desire, Tennessee Williams

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Published by New Directions
“I cannot write any sort of story,” said Tennessee Williams to Gore Vidal, “unless there is at least one character in it for whom I have physical desire.” The five transgressive Tales of Desire—“The Mysteries of the Joy Rio,” “One Arm,” “Desire and the Black Masseur,” “Hard Candy,” and “The Killer Chicken and the Closet Queen”—show the iconic playwright at his outrageous best.
“I cannot write any sort of story,” said Tennessee Williams to Gore Vidal, “unless there is at least one character in it for whom I have physical desire.” The five transgressive Tales of Desire—“The Mysteries of the Joy Rio,” “One Arm,” “Desire and the Black Masseur,” “Hard Candy,” and “The Killer Chicken and the Closet Queen”—show the iconic playwright at his outrageous best.

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Published by: New Directions on Feb 01, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/02/2012

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Tales of Desire
TENNESSEE WILLIAMS
a new directions pearl
 
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The Mysteries of the Joy Rio
I
perhaps because
he was a watch repairman, Mr.Gonzales had grown to be rather indifferent to time. Asingle watch or clock can be a powerful influence on aman, but when a man lives among as many watches andclocks as crowded the tiny, dim shop of Mr. Gonzales,some lagging behind, some skipping ahead, but all tick-ing monotonously on in their witless fashion, the multi-tude of them may be likely to deprive them of impor-tance, as a gem loses its value when there are too many  just like it which are too easily or cheaply obtainable. Atany rate, Mr. Gonzales kept very irregular hours, if hecould be said to keep any hours at all, and if he had not been where he was for such a long time, his trade wouldhave suffered badly. But Mr. Gonzales had occupied histiny shop for more than twenty years, since he had cometo the city as a boy of nineteen to work as an apprentice tothe original owner of the shop, a very strange and fat manof German descent named Kroger, Emiel Kroger, whohad now been dead a long time. Emiel Kroger, being a ro-mantically practical Teuton, had taken time, the com-modity he worked with, with intense seriousness. In
 
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Tennessee Williams
practically all his behavior he had imitated a perfectly ad- justed fat silver watch. Mr. Gonzales, who was thenyoung enough to be known as Pablo, had been his only sustained flirtation with the confusing, quicksilver worldthat exists outside of regularities. He had met Pablo dur-ing a watchmakers’ convention in Dallas, Texas, wherePablo, who had illegally come into the country from Mex-ico a few days before, was drifting hungrily about thestreets, and at that time Mr. Gonzales, Pablo, had notgrown plump but had a lustrous dark grace which hadcompletely bewitched Mr. Kroger. For as I have noted al-ready, Mr. Kroger was a fat and strange man, subject tothe kind of bewitchment that the graceful young Pablocould cast. The spell was so strong that it interrupted thefleeting and furtive practices of a lifetime in Mr. Krogerand induced him to take the boy home with him, to hisshop-residence, where Pablo, now grown to the matureand fleshy proportions of Mr. Gonzales, had lived eversince, for three years before the death of his protector andfor more than seventeen years after that, as the inheritorof shop-residence, clocks, watches, and everything elsethat Mr. Kroger had owned except a few pieces of dining-room silver which Emiel Kroger had left as a token be-quest to a married sister in Toledo.Some of these facts are of dubious pertinence to the lit-tle history which is to be unfolded. The important one isthe fact that Mr. Gonzales had managed to drift enviably apart from the regularities that rule most other lives.Some days he would not open his shop at all and some

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