Sunday, November 24, 2019
SUNDAY REVIEW / NELSON ALGREN’S INTERVIEW IN THE PARIS REVIEW, 1955
From the Paris Review, Issue 11, Winter, 1955
By Alston Anderson and Terry Southern
The interview took place in a dark and untidy Greenwich Village walk-up flat in the fall of 1955. A number of visitors dropped in to listen to Algren. Word had spread that he was giving an interview, and in that quarter of the city Algren is highly respected.
He makes his living writing, has no set routine for working at it, nor seriously feels the need of one; he finds that he works best, or most frequently, at night, and he composes on the typewriter. He strikes one as a man who feels and means just what he says, and often says it in the same way he dresses—with a good-humored nonchalance that is at once uniquely American and, in the latter-day sense, quite un-American: his tie, if he ever wore one, would very likely be as askew as his syntax often is. He is a man who betrays no inclination whatsoever towards politeness, but he has a natural generosity and compassion. To talk with Algren is to have a conversation brought very quickly to that rarefied level where values are actually declared.
For the complete interview click here.