His beauty was notable even in a province where the lack of it is more exceptional in a young man. It was the sort of beauty that is celebrated by the heroic male sculptures in the fountains of Rome. Two things disguised it a little, the dreadful poverty of his clothes and his stealth of manner. The only decent garment he wore was a black overcoat which was too small for his body. Its collar exposed a triangle of bare ivory flesh; no evidence of a shirt. The trouser-cuffs were coming to pieces. Naked feet showed through enormous gaps in his shoe leather. He seemed to want to escape the attention which his beauty invited, for whenever he caught a glance he turned aside from it. He kept his head lowered and his body hunched slightly forward. And yet he had an air of alertness. The tension of his figure suggested that he was continually upon the verge of raising his voice or an arm in some kind of urgent call or salutation.
~Williams, Tennessee. The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (New Directions Bibelot) (Kindle Locations 22-24). New Directions. Kindle Edition.
Tennessee Williams wrote only two novels, The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone (1950, adapted into a film in 1961, and again in 2003) and Moise and the World of Reason (1975) I have watched the 1961 film several times. Haunted by the film as many are, I had to read the novel to answer some questions that I have. So, the above quote is so beautifully tragic that I am taken to my youth and my world now as a senior citizen. Yet, the description above reminds me of the many young beauty punks I knew in my youthful years. I think, or should I say know… describes what I feel and saw back then. So perfect…. A door to a writer an education by him… what joy I feel. The right time and place to understand where I can alchemise his magic… a balancing of love and disdain I am sure.