Re: RARA-AVIS: Algren's trip

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 21 Jun 2002

Jim Blue noted:

"Yeah, but it did give us that marvelous line, "Never eat at a place called Mom's, never play poker with a guy named Doc, and never sleep with anyone whose troubles are worse than your own.""

The last part serves as the epigraph for James Crumley's The Wrong Case, but is attributed to Lew Archer. However, when Lew Archer said it (I forget which book -- Chill? Galton Case?), he said it was said by "A wise man in Chicago," Algren's home town.

This also reminds me of Lou Reed's story behind his song of the same name, as told on his live album Take No Prisoners (more a comedy album than a music album, as he talks over all of the songs). Supposedly two entrepreneurs came up to him (since they thought he was the second most literate rocker, behind Ray Davies) with the idea of turning Algren's book into a musical. Reed read it and thought, What am I going to write songs about, a cripple going to the bathroom? Instead he stole the title for a song about the Warhol crowd he knew so well.

So Mario, who's next in your revivial, Hubert Selby, Jr?


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