CONVERSATIONS WITH NELSON ALGREN by H.E.F. Donohue

CONVERSATIONS WITH NELSON ALGREN

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

The interviewer is a combination of Mike Wallace, George Plimpton and Little Orphan Annie; the interviewee is Just Himself, i.e., lively, dull, manly, uvenile, hard-swinging, chowder-headed, committed, irresponsible, and funny (all ways). He says: ""The way I'm living I never see anybody. That's nowhere, you know?...I want to a Fascist, an OAS guy, I want to know what it's like,"" or ""I'm the tin whistle of American letters...James Jones (a fourth-rate writer) gets $750,000, Algren gets a free train ride to N.Y.,"" or ""I don't want a date with Mary McCarthy even by surrogate."" These and other nightlife cracks are interspersed with bubblegum blowing re Castro, Russia, disarmament, revolutions, technology, success, Negroes, Homosexuality, literary tastes (he prefers- surprisingly- Cheever to Kerouac, Miss Millay to Allen ""Howlberg""), along with autobiographical anecdotes, travel reminiscences, zeitgeist resumes, and romance (cf. Simone de Beauvoir). Novelist Algren, the possessor of a large and continually developing talent, once said: ""It is better to be on the lam than on the cover of Time"". One more Conversations, however, and he may find himself a Luce pin-up boy. Madison Avenue loved the loud-mouthed Beats. Remember?

ISBN: 0226013839
Publisher: Bill and Wang