Becoming Laura - Université de Lorraine Access content directly
Journal Articles Journal of Modern Literature Year : 2021

Becoming Laura


During the summer of 1939, Tennessee Williams was obsessed with D.H. Lawrence, and “conceived a strong impulse to write a play about him—his life in America” (Notebooks 155). To gather material for the play, Williams travelled to Taos to meet Frieda Lawrence. Though that full-length play was never realized, Williams did quickly pen several shorter works, including a lyric poem “Cried the Fox; For D.H.L” (1939), and four one-act plays: “A Panic Renaissance in the Lobos Mountains (ca. 1939), Adam and Eve on a Ferry (ca. 1939), The Night of the Zeppelin (ca. 1939-40), and I Rise in Flame, Cried the Phoenix (1941). It was only natural, then, after reading Lawrence’s 1922 short story “You Touched Me” in March 1942 that Williams would set out, with his friend and collaborator Donald Windham, to adapt it for the stage. (Williams wrote most of the play, with some help from Windham and, occasionally, input from their friend Paul Bigelow [Letters I 419-20; Notebooks 297].) The paper trail leading to the eventual foreword to that play, “Homage to Ophelia”—published for the first time in JML 44.1—recounts a much more complex period in Williams’s life during a time when work on the war comedy You Touched Me! greatly influenced the writing of his first masterpiece, The Glass Menagerie.


No file

Dates and versions

hal-03107710 , version 1 (12-01-2021)


  • HAL Id : hal-03107710 , version 1


John S. Bak. Becoming Laura: The Impact of Tennessee Williams’s Revisions of You Touched Me! on The Glass Menagerie, 1942–43. Journal of Modern Literature, 2021, 44 (1), pp.36-58. ⟨hal-03107710⟩
54 View
0 Download


Gmail Facebook Twitter LinkedIn More