Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Nelson on Nonconformity

“Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.”
― Nelson Algren

“You don't write a novel out of sheer pity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich. A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery.”
― Nelson Algren, Nonconformity “If Jesus Christ treated me like you do, I’d drive in the nails myself.”

“To literary critics a book is assumed to be guilty until it proves itself innocent.”
― Nelson Algren

“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.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“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-coloured walls...”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“There is no way of being a creative writer in America without being a loser.”
― Nelson Algren

“It's the place built out of Man's ceaseless failure to overcome himself. Out of Man's endless war against himself we build our successes as well as our failures. Making it the city of all cities most like Man himself— loneliest creation of all this very old poor earth.”
― Nelson Algren, Chicago: City on the Make

“There's people in hell who want ice water.”
― Nelson Algren, The Man With the Golden Arm

“The great trains howling from track to track all night. The taut and telegraphic murmur of ten thousand city wires, drawn most cruelly against a city sky. The rush of city waters, beneath the city streets. The passionate passing of the night's last El.”
― Nelson Algren, Never Come Morning

“A book, a true book, is the writer's confessional. For, whether he would have it so or not, he is betrayed, directly or indirectly, by his characters, into presenting publicly his innermost feelings.”
― Nelson Algren, Entrapment and Other Writings

“And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.”
― Nelson Algren, A Walk on the Wild Side

“...he said, with sort of a little derisive smile, "How can you walk down the street with all this stuff going on inside you?" I said, "I don't know how you can walk down the street with nothing going on inside you.”
― Nelson Algren