Bewitched by the Big Easy: Tennessee Williams and New Orleans

To walk around the French Quarter today, it is impossible to believe that New York literary types once sniffed that New Orleans was a “cultural swamp.”

OK, that was almost a century ago. But still, writers and artists have flocked here since before the Civil War. Yet the writers we know best came for inspiration long afterward: Ernest Hemingway, Mark Twain, William Faulkner, Gertrude Stein.

It’s difficult to put your finger on what makes New Orleans unique. According to local historian Kenneth Holditch: “People came here by desire, ready to seduce, to be seduced.”

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