And never, ever, no matter what else you do in your whole life, never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own.

— Nelson Algren

The most powerful Nelson Algren quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

Chicago is an October sort of city even in spring.

28

When we get 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.

21

Yet once you've come to be part of this particular patch, you'll never love another. Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real.

14

Thinking of Poe, thinking of Mark Twain and Vachel Lindsay, thinking of Jack London and Tom Wolfe, one begins to feel there is almost no way of becoming a creative writer in America without being a loser.

12

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.

10

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.

9

Watch for a wild boy of no particular clan, ready for anything, always armed.

Prefers fighting to toil, drink to fighting, chasing women to booze or battle: may attempt all three concurrently.

7

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.

6

The avocation of assessing the failures of better men can be turned into a comfortable livelihood, providing you back it up with a Ph.D.

6

Never lie down with a woman who's got more troubles than you.

5

Loving Chicago is like loving a woman with a broken nose.

4

I went out there for a thousand a week, and I worked Monday, and I got fired Wednesday. The guy that hired me was out of town Tuesday.

3

About Nelson Algren

Quotes 36 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Novelist
Birthday October 16

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.

3

There's people in hell who want ice water.

2

Never play cards with a man called Doc.

Never eat at a place called Mom s. Never sleep with a woman whose troubles are worse than your own.

2

Our myths are so many, our vision so dim, our self-deception so deep and our smugness so gross that scarcely any way now remains of reporting the American Century except from behind the billboards.

1

The Impossible Generalized Man today is the critic who believes in loving those unworthy of love as well as those worthy --yet believes this only insofar as no personal risk is entailed. Meaning he loves no one, worthy or no. This is what makes him impossible.

1

I don't recommend being a bachelor, but it helps if you want to write.

0

To literary critics a book is assumed to be guilty until it proves itself innocent.

0

It is strange how fragile this man-creature is.

....in one second he's just garbage. Garbage, that's all.

0

For the masses who do the city's labor also keep the city's heart.

0

Literature is made upon any occasion that a challenge is put to the legal apparatus by conscience in touch with humanity.

0

...a city that was to live by night after the wilderness had passed. A city that was to forge out of steel and blood-red neon its own peculiar wilderness.

0

Any writer who knows what he's doing isn't doing very much.

0

Never eat in a place called 'Mom's'.

0

... Chicago divided your heart. Leaving you loving the joint for keeps. Yet knowing it never can love you.

0

I'm not against sentimentality. I think you need it. I mean, I don't think you get a true picture of people without it in writing... It's a kind of poetry, it's an emotional poetry, and, to bring it back to the literary scene, I don't think anything is true that doesn't have it, that doesn't have poetry in it.

0

One of the best things Henry Miller ever said was that art goes all out.

It's all out. It goes full length. . . . A big book is an all-out book in which you limit your life to things that pertain directly to the book.

0

The only way I could finish a book and get a plot was just to keep making it longer until something happens.

0

...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.

0

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.

0

And money can't buy everything. For example: poverty.

0

The devil lives in a double-shot", Roman explains himself obscurely.

"I got a great worm inside. Gnaws and gnaws. Every day I drown him and every day he gnaws. Help me drown the worm, fellas.

0

The Impossible Generalized Man today is the critic who believes in loving those unworthy of love as well as those worthy - yet believes this only insofar as no personal risk is entailed. Meaning he loves no one, worthy or no. This is what makes him impossible.

0

(Chicago is) the only major city in the country where you can easily buy your way out of a murder rap.

0

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