Posts tagged “nelson algren live”
May 21, 2009
Following up on Nelson Algren Live from this April, we present two pieces of footage from the event at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. In the first, Barry Gifford reads from Nelson Algren’s recollections of Margo, the prostitute and junkie who inspired the character Mary-Beth in the uncompleted novel Entrapment. In the second, Willem Dafoe takes on the role of Blackie Cavanaugh, welterweight Chicago boxer, from Algren’s haunting 1939 story “The Lightless Room.” Click the title of this post to see both clips.
April 28, 2009
Art Shay… took the most iconic shots of the author, black-and-whites of him playing poker or peering through barroom windows, pictures so gritty you can almost feel the dirt rise off the frame. These photos, as much as anything, are responsible for Algren’s image as “the poet of the Chicago slums,” yet they also cast him in amber: a midcentury figure, smoking a cigar, eyebrows raised behind round glasses, turning over another card. Sixty years after winning the first National Book Award, for his 1949 novel of addiction, “The Man With the Golden Arm,” Algren has become vestigial enough that discussions of a national celebration were scaled back after, as [executive director of the National Book Foundation Harold] Augenbraum notes in an e-mail, “we concluded that though his writing continued to resonate, the number of his readers and his currency among the general reading public had diminished.”
So what, exactly, is Algren’s legacy? That’s the question the Steppenwolf event means to raise. —David Ulin at the LA Times
Tags: art shay, articles, barry gifford, Dan Simon, david ulin, don delillo, man with the golden arm, nelson algren, nelson algren live, neon wilderness, never come morning, russell banks, steppenwolf
April 16, 2009
April 8, 2009
The ubertext of “Nelson Algren Live,” a literary evening that had the great Don DeLillo happy merely to read little bits of narration, and featured the truly delicious casting of Martha Lavey as Simone de Beauvoir? Algren spent a life writing about others and kept this hitherto-unpublished story hidden, because Blackie Cavanaugh, a gaping, emotional, closed, taciturn wound, was far too much like himself.
April 1, 2009
What’s the most exciting event taking place in Chicago on April 6th? According to Chris Jones of the Chicago Tribune, Barbara Vitello of the Daily Herald, and Rob Christopher of the Chicagoist, there’s only one answer: Nelson Algren Live at the Steppenwolf Theatre. And, as Chris Jones mentions, Willem Dafoe is now among the performers reading selections from Algren’s work, along with Seven Stories publisher Dan Simon and authors Barry Gifford, Don DeLillo and Russell Banks.