NEW YORK — As she takes in the despair of her in-laws’ one-room apartment in A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche Dubois exclaims, “Only Poe! Only Mr. Edgar Allan Poe could do it justice!”
Years earlier, Tennessee Williams channeled Poe for an entire story. Williams’ The Eye That Saw Death, appearing in the spring issue of The Strand Magazine, is a feverish, 4,800-word horror tale clearly inspired by the patron of the genre.
Recently unearthed by Strand managing editor Andrew F. Gulli, The Eye That Saw Death is narrated by an unnamed man who has suffered from a seemingly incurable disease that has left him nearly blind. Gulli, who has previously published little-known works by Graham Greene and John Steinbeck among others, found The Eye That Saw Death at one of the country’s leading literary archives, the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin.