This is Real Life Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    The Powell's Playlist | March 13, 2015

    Kent Russell: IMG Kent Russell's Playlist for I Am Sorry to Think I Have Raised a Timid Son



    I don't listen to music while I write. Frankly, I don't see how anyone can. Since all style is rhythm, and since I cannot write anything that's as... Continue »
    1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    spacer

This item may be
out of stock.

Click on the button below to search for this title in other formats.


Check for Availability
Add to Wishlist

Nonconformity: Writing on Writing

by

Nonconformity: Writing on Writing Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the never-before-published, book-length essay Nonconformity...[Algren] articulates an American literary world view that should guide the generations of writers to follow him-a quest so ambitious it is hard to think of any other American writer who attempted it since, perhaps, Ralph Waldo Emerson in Self-Reliance."-Gerald Nicosia, in The Washington Post Book World and The Chicago Sun-Times.

"A handbook for tough, truth-telling outsiders who are proud, as was Algren, to damn well stay that way."-Kurt Vonnegut (May 1996)

"A PASSIONATE DEFENSE OF THE WRITER.... Angry and funny as Algren usually is."-Kirkus Reviews

"At 16 bucks and beautifully bound-it may be among the best coffee table books of the year-Nonconformity is a steal, a few strokes of wonderful writing combined with an excellent bit of literary archaeology."-Bart Schneider in Salon

"This extended essay on what it takes to be a writer-and by extension a man-provides a corrosive antidote to any fin de siecle sentimentalizing of the American midcentury as a...golden age."-The Boston Globe

"Nonconformity underscores the beliefs of Algren, Dreiser and an army of intellectuals that it is the duty of the serious writer to serve as society's moral conscience.... Simon has done a great service in bringing this book into print."-Bettina Drew in The Chicago Tribune

"Wise, courageous and humane."-Publishers Weekly

The struggle to write with deep emotion is the subject of this extraordinary book, the previously unpublished credo of one of America's greatest 20th-century writers.

"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," writes Nelson Algren in his only longer work of nonfiction, adding: "A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential to creative writing as it is to armed robbery."

Nonconformity is about 20th-century America: "Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder."; And it is about the trouble writers ask for when they try to describe America: "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...[where there] are still... defeats in which everything is lost [and] victories that fall close enough to the heart to afford living hope."

In Nonconformity, Algren identifies the essential nature of the writer's relation to society, drawing examples from Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Twain, and Fitzgerald, as well as utility infielder Leo Durocher and legendary barkeep Martin Dooley. He shares his deepest beliefs about the state of literature and its role in society, along the way painting a chilling portrait of the early 1950s, Joe McCarthy's heyday, when many American writers were blacklisted and ruined for saying similar things to what Algren is saying here.

As Algren was writing Nonconformity, his affair with Simone de Beauvoir was coming toan end and the FBI was compiling an extensive file on him. Both of these developments exerted an influence on the resulting essay. Finally, the FBI found two informants of "known reliability" to denounce him as a former Communist. Doubleday, his New York publisher, which had pressed Algren to let them publish Nonconformity, then cancelled his contract.

Synopsis:

The struggle to write with deep emotion is the subject of this extraordinary book, the previously unpublished credo of one of America's greatest 20th-century writers.

You don't write a novel out of sheerpity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich, writes Nelson Algren in his only longer work of nonfiction, adding: A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential tocreative writing as it is to armed robbery.

Nonconformity is about 20th-century America: Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder. And it is about the troublewriters ask for when they try to describe America: 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 exceptfrom behind the billboards . . . where there] are still . . . defeats in which everything is lost and] victories that fall close enough to the heart to afford living hope.

In Nonconformity, Algren identifiesthe essential nature of the writer's relation to society, drawing examples from Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Twain, and Fitzgerald, as well as utility infielder Leo Durocher and legendary barkeep Martin Dooley. He shares hisdeepest beliefs about the state of literature and its role in society, along the way painting a chilling portrait of the early 1950s, Joe McCarthy's heyday, when many American writers were blacklisted and ruined for sayingsimilar things to what Algren is saying here.

About the Author

Nelson Algren (1909-1981) wrote of the despised urban underbelly of America before it was fashionable to do so, and still stands as one of our most defiant and enduring novelists. His novels include The Man with the Golden Arm, winner of the first National Book Award, A Walk on the Wild Side, and Never Come Morning.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781609802738
Publisher:
Seven Stories Press
Subject:
Literary Criticism : Books & Reading
Essay by:
O'Brien, C.S.
Author:
Algren, Nelson
Afterword:
Simon, Daniel
Subject:
Language Arts & Disciplines : Authorship
Subject:
Literary Collections : Essays
Subject:
Philosophy : Aesthetics
Subject:
main_subject
Subject:
all_subjects
Subject:
Biography & Autobiography : General
Publication Date:
January 2011
Binding:
eBooks
Language:
English

Related Subjects

Biography » General
Biography » Literary
Fiction and Poetry » Anthologies » Essays
Humanities » Literary Criticism » General
Humanities » Philosophy » Aesthetics
Reference » Grammar and Style
Reference » Writing » General

Nonconformity: Writing on Writing
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details pages Seven Stories Press - English 9781609802738 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , The struggle to write with deep emotion is the subject of this extraordinary book, the previously unpublished credo of one of America's greatest 20th-century writers.

You don't write a novel out of sheerpity any more than you blow a safe out of a vague longing to be rich, writes Nelson Algren in his only longer work of nonfiction, adding: A certain ruthlessness and a sense of alienation from society is as essential tocreative writing as it is to armed robbery.

Nonconformity is about 20th-century America: Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder. And it is about the troublewriters ask for when they try to describe America: 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 exceptfrom behind the billboards . . . where there] are still . . . defeats in which everything is lost and] victories that fall close enough to the heart to afford living hope.

In Nonconformity, Algren identifiesthe essential nature of the writer's relation to society, drawing examples from Dostoyevsky, Chekhov, Twain, and Fitzgerald, as well as utility infielder Leo Durocher and legendary barkeep Martin Dooley. He shares hisdeepest beliefs about the state of literature and its role in society, along the way painting a chilling portrait of the early 1950s, Joe McCarthy's heyday, when many American writers were blacklisted and ruined for sayingsimilar things to what Algren is saying here.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

     
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.