Nelson Algren

Nelson Algren


Author Profession: US Novelist
Born: March 28, 1909
Died: May 09, 1981
Birth Sign: Aries


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Nelson Algren quotes

I went out there for a thousand a week, and I worked Monday, and I got fired Wednesday. The guy that hired me was out of town Tuesday.

Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.

Never play cards with a man called Doc. Never eat at a place called Mom's. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.

Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose.

The Impossible Generalized Man today is the critic who believes in loving those unworthy of love as well as those worthy - yet believes this only insofar as no personal risk is entailed. Meaning he loves no one, worthy or no. This is what makes him impossible.

I am against censorship. I don't think there is anything more stupid than censorship.

If you write something, and you believe in it, you'd like to see sixty million people moved by it.

Literature is made upon any occasion that a challenge is put to the legal apparatus by conscience in touch with humanity.

Since I'm essentially optimistic, I can't imagine a world in which man is totally decimated or degraded.

The hard necessity of bringing the judge on the bench down into the dock has been the peculiar responsibility of the writer in all ages of man.

I do have the feeling that other writers can't help you with writing. I've gone to writers' conferences and writers' sessions and writers' clinics, and the more I see of them, the more I'm sure it's the wrong direction. It isn't the place where you learn to write.

I don't think I've ever been either militant or profound as an anti-Fascist. When the issue has come up, when certain things have come up, and I've been called on to express - literally, when I've been cornered, then I take a left-wing stand.

I don't think the isolation of the American writer is a tradition; it's more that, geographically, he just is isolated, unless he happens to live in New York City. But I don't suppose there's a small town around the country that doesn't have a writer.

I'd put the ninety-nine billion dollars - whatever it is - that's being appropriated for the Air Force and the Navy, and I'd put it into schools. I'd put it into traveling scholarships.

I've always felt strongly that a writer shouldn't be engaged with other writers, or with people who make books, or even with people who read them. I think the farther away you get from the literary traffic, the closer you are to sources. I mean, a writer doesn't really live; he observes.

I've always figured the only way I could finish a book and get a plot was just to keep making it longer and longer until something happens - you know, until it finds its own plot - because you can't outline and then fit the thing into it. I suppose it's a slow way of working.

It isn't till now, in the American Century, as we have recklessly dubbed it, that tribal pressures toward conformity have been brought to bear so ruthlessly upon men and women seeking to work creatively.

New York is the place where they bind books and write blurbs and arrange the publicity and print the galleys... But Chicago is the place where the book is lived out before it is bound and the song is sung before it is recorded.

Obsession remains the price of creation, and the writer who declines that risk will come up with nothing more creative than 'The Foxes of Harrow' or 'Mrs. Parkington.'

The American middle class's faith in personal comfort as an end in itself is, in essence, a denial of life. And it has been imposed upon American writers and playwrights strongly enough to cut them off from their deeper sources.

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