Thursday, May 18, 2006

Williams story

Back in February I read Haunts of the Black Masseur (see March 3 post) because I'd heard it had lots of swimming information. And it did, mainly the history of swimming and bathing, particularly in literature and amongst the romantic poets. I noted that the allusion of the title was to a short story by Tennessee Williams, "Desire and the Black Masseur". I finally got around to finding and reading the story at the library. Whew, not a swimming story. It had to do with a wimpy little white guy getting massages by a big black man in an underground sauna at a NYC health club. The story was about torture, self-hatred, and mutilation. I was sorry I'd read it.

I much more enjoyed the stories in Splash, a compilation of writings about swimming given to me by my friend Betty. I loved "Wet" by Laurie Colwin and "The Swimmer" by John Cheever. Must go back and read that collection.

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