Posts tagged “never come morning”
May 5, 2009"Thanks for caring about Algren," [Dan] Simon said before hanging up the phone... I don't think it's about wanting people to read Algren; it's about needing them to. Read an Algren book. Then, walk around Skid Row and try to look away from those desolate eyes staring back; or, try to watch any war on TV and remain unaffected; just try to ignore that dope-sick junkie nodding on the corner. You won't be able to. Because you won't be disconnected from them; you'll be one of them. —from Divergence
April 28, 2009Art 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 2, 2009Algren was able to write with the voices of the forgotten, the people living on the fringes of society, in a time when no one wanted to hear those voices . . . Some fans of Algren may romanticize the down-and-out lives he depicted--the addicts, prostitutes and small-time criminals--as the "salt of the earth." But they would be as wrong as the civic leaders who would have preferred that Algren shut up.