Frasi di Nelson Algren

Nelson Algren foto
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Nelson Algren

Data di nascita: 28. Marzo 1909
Data di morte: 9. Maggio 1981

Pubblicità

Nelson Algren è stato uno scrittore statunitense. Fu un narratore dello squallore dei bassifondi di Chicago, abitati da pugili, giocatori d'azzardo, immigrati soprattutto messicani e polacchi.

Si inserisce , con James Thomas Farrell, Richard Wright e John Hersey, nel realismo americano, iniziato da Theodore Dreiser.

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Frasi Nelson Algren

Pubblicità

„Life is hard by the yard, son. But you don't have to do it by the yard. By the inch it's a cinch. And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.“

— Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side
Context: But blow wise to this, buddy, blow wise to this: 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. Never let nobody talk you into shaking another man's jolt. And never you cop another man's plea. I've tried 'em all and I know. They don't work. / Life is hard by the yard, son. But you don't have to do it by the yard. By the inch it's a cinch. And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty. In jail, Cross-Country Kline to Dove Linkhorn.

Pubblicità

„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.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: I don't know many writers. [... ] Well, I dunno, but 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'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.

„He was falling between glacial walls, he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world. So far to fall, so cold all the way, so steep and dark between those morphine-colored walls of [an addict]'s terrible pit.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: The clock in the room above the Safari told only Junkie Time. For every hour here was Old Junkie's Hour and the walls were the color of all old junkies' dreams: the hue of diluted morphine in the moment before the needle draws the suffering blood. / Walls that went up and up like walls in a troubled dream. Walls like water where no legend could be written and no hand grasp metal or wood. [... ] He was falling between glacial walls, he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world. So far to fall, so cold all the way, so steep and dark between those morphine-colored walls of [an addict]'s terrible pit. Frankie Machine above the Club Safari, where drug is sold.

„I haven't consciously tried to develop [a style]. The only thing I've consciously tried to do was put myself in a position to hear the people I wanted to hear talk talk.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: Well, I haven't consciously tried to develop [a style]. The only thing I've consciously tried to do was put myself in a position to hear the people I wanted to hear talk talk. I used the police lineup for I don't know how many years. [... ] I was just over on the South Side and got rolled. But they gave me a card, you know, to look for the guys in the lineup, and I used that card for something like seven years.

Pubblicità

„The clock in the room above the Safari told only Junkie Time.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: The clock in the room above the Safari told only Junkie Time. For every hour here was Old Junkie's Hour and the walls were the color of all old junkies' dreams: the hue of diluted morphine in the moment before the needle draws the suffering blood. / Walls that went up and up like walls in a troubled dream. Walls like water where no legend could be written and no hand grasp metal or wood. [... ] He was falling between glacial walls, he didn't know how anyone could fall so far away from everyone else in the world. So far to fall, so cold all the way, so steep and dark between those morphine-colored walls of [an addict]'s terrible pit. Frankie Machine above the Club Safari, where drug is sold.

„Well, here you get to be a writer when there's absolutely nothing else you can do.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: 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. The thing is that here you get to be a writer differently. I mean, a writer like Sartre decides, like any professional man, when he's fifteen, sixteen years old, that instead of being a doctor he's going to be a writer. And he absorbs the French tradition and proceeds from there. Well, here you get to be a writer when there's absolutely nothing else you can do. I mean, I don't know of any writers here who just started out to be writers, and then became writers. They just happen to fall into it.

„The less he sees of other writers the more of a writer he will ultimately become. When he sees scarcely anyone except other writers, he is ready for New York.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: 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. The shortcut to comfort is called “specialization,” and in an eye-ear-nose-and-throat doctor this makes sense. But in a writer it is fatal. The less he sees of other writers the more of a writer he will ultimately become. When he sees scarcely anyone except other writers, he is ready for New York.

„Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder.“

— Nelson Algren
Context: Do American faces so often look so lost because they are most tragically trapped between a very real dread of coming alive to something more than merely existing, and an equal dread of going down to the grave without having done more than merely be comfortable? If so, this is the truly American disease. And would account in part for the fact that we lead the world today in insanity, criminality, alcoholism, narcoticism, psychoanalysm, cancer, homicide and perversion in sex as well as in perversion just for the pure hell of the thing. Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder. Never has any people lived so hygienically while daily dousing itself with the ritual slops of guilt. Nowhere has any people set itself a moral code so rigid while applying it quite so flexibly.

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