"SOMETHING UNPRECEDENTED ON THE STAGE": FIRST EDITION OF WILLIAMS' STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE
WILLIAMS, Tennessee. A Streetcar Named Desire. New York: New Directions, (1947) [i.e., 1948]. Octavo, original pink paper boards, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom clamshell box. $6200.
First edition of William's first Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, in scarce original dust jacket. A lovely copy.
Critically praised as "superb," "fascinating" and "a terrific adventure," A Streetcar Named Desire brought Williams his second New York Drama Critics' Circle Award—and a Pulitzer Prize. Williams himself considered this his best play (Devlin, 50). Elia Kazan directed the original production that opened in New Haven on October 30, 1947 before moving to Broadway on December 3 with a cast starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy. Among Streetcar's major achievements was a depiction of the working class that set it apart from standard social commentary or documentary drama. "No one dared approach this new thing without caution. They had just witnessed something unprecedented on the stage, a high-pitched, jagged, alarming—and comical!—drama structure" (Sam Staggs). First issue, printed December 1947. Crandell A5.I.a. Original owner ink signature, dated 1948. Contemporary newspaper clippings relating to the premiere of the play at the Barrymore Theatre, starring Marlon Brando and Jessica Tandy, laid in.
Offsetting to front and rear endpapers (blank), with faint paperclip evidence; corners gently bumped, boards bright and clean. Scarce original dust jacket exceptionally bright and unfaded with a bit of wrinkling at corners and a few shallow nicks to spine ends. A lovely, near-fine copy.