Kedzie's picture
Kedzie from the SF Bay Area is reading The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien October 26, 2018 - 8:05pm

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/17220.Nelson_Algren

Here's a small sample:

“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

“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.”
― Entrapment and Other Writings

“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.”
― Interview

“If you feel you belong to things as they are, you won’t hold up anyone in the alley no matter how hungry you may get. And you won’t write anything that anyone will read a second time either.”
― Interview

“Nor all your piety nor all your preaching, nor all your crusades nor all your threats can stop one girl from going on the turf, can stop one mugging, can keep one promising youth from becoming a drug addict, so long as the force that drives the owners of our civilization is away from those who own nothing at all.”
― Never Come Morning

“American literature isn't anybody phoning to anybody or anybody writing about anybody. American literature is the woman in the courtroom who, finding herself undefended on a charge, asked, 'Isn't anybody on my side?' It's also the phrase I used that was once used in court of a kid who, on being sentenced to death, said, 'I knew I'd never get to be twenty-one anyhow.”
― Conversations with Nelson Algren

“When we got more houses than we can live in, more cars than we can ride in, more food than we can eat ourselves, the only way of getting richer is by cutting off those who don't have enough. If everybody has more than enough, what good is my more-than-enough? What good is a wide meadow open to everyone? It isn't until others are fenced out that the open pasture begins to have real value. What good is being a major if you can't have more than a second lieutenant? What good is a second lieutenant for that matter?”
― A Walk on the Wild Side

“And the men come on again: the flashy and the penitent, the beaten ones and the wise guys, the hangdog heel thieves and the disdainful coneroos, walking, half crouched, through a downpour of light like men walking through rain. The frayed and the hesitant, the sleek and the bold, the odd fish and the callow youths, the good-humored bindle stiffs and the bitter veterans.”
― The Neon Wilderness

“I bet you think fellas are the ones to remember a girl -- don't you?"

He shook his head hurriedly, that he'd always thought that.

"Fellas have all the fun 'n she just sees one right after another, so it seems like HE'D remember her, better 'n SHE'D remember him, only it works the other way around. I ain't forgot one single fella, all these years. But I bet there ain't TWO 'd know me from a bag of bananas this minute.”
― Never Come Morning