Nelson Algren Goes to Hollywood

23 Sep 2006 /

From a 1955 interview with Nelson Algren in The Paris Review:

INTERVIEWER: How about this movie, The Man with the Golden Arm?

ALGREN: Yeah.

INTERVIEWER: Did you have anything to do with the script?

ALGREN: No. No, I didn’t last long. 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.


One Comment on Nelson Algren Goes to Hollywood »

  1. 6 Oct 2006 @ 10:59 pm


    I’ve read nearly everything Algren has written, and one of the things that makes him so compelling as an author is that he was a man on the make and a man with incredible integrity–which sheds light on his Hollywood flirtations. It’s hard to be both. Maybe you have to be from Chicago.

    One of his biographers posited that if it hadn’t been for the McCarthy hearings, Algren’s brand of fiction would have been received with much more fanfare, and perhaps we’d have a different trajectory of literary fiction as a result (e.g., much more gritty, realist, socialist, etc.). The reaction to studying Algren that I received from one of my professors certainly seems to back that up.

    Anyway, here’s to not sleeping with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own, unless she’s Simone de Beauvoir (who Algren aided in her first orgasm, according to her letters).

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