Al Alvarez Quotes

Alfred Alvarez (born 5 August 1929) is an English poet, novelist, essayist and critic who publishes under the name A. Alvarez and Al Alvarez

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Al Alvarez


Each sporadic burst of work, each minor success and disappointment, each moment of calm and relaxation, seemed merely a temporary halt on my steady descent through layer after layer of depression, like an elevator stopping for a moment on the way down to the basement.

Al Alvarez


In [The New Poetry] I had attacked the British poets' nervous preference for gentility above all else, and their avoidance of the uncomfortable, destructive truths both of the inner life and of the present time.

Al Alvarez


Mass democracy, mass morality and the mass media thrive independently of the individual, who joins them only at the cost of at least a partial perversion of his instincts and insights. He pays for his social ease with what used to be called his soul - his discriminations, his uniqueness, his psychic energy, his self.

Al Alvarez


Yes, I think poker really isn't gambling.

Al Alvarez


Despite the hundreds of attempts, police terror and the concentration camps have proved to be more or less impossible subjects for the artist; since what happened in them was beyond the imagination, it was therefore also beyond art and all those human values on which art is traditionally based.

Al Alvarez


Divorce transforms habit into drama.

Al Alvarez


“Because one of the curious things about writing is that it doesn't matter how perfect you try and get it, that you never quite get the sentence right, or there are things that you miss and, you know, you have work repeated a couple of pages later that shouldn't have been repeated.”

Al Alvarez


“The point is that it looks like gambling because the language of the game is money.”

Al Alvarez


“I mean being a writer is like being a psychoanalyst, but you don't get any patients.”

Al Alvarez


“I mean to say, this is the book and I really loathe it and I can't imagine what a nice Jewish boy like me ever, how I ever got into this dreadful trade.”

Al Alvarez


“I think one of the interesting things about poker is that once you let your ego in, you're done for.”

Al Alvarez


“And if you can't keep your ego under control, it's going to cost you a lot of money.”

Al Alvarez


“I hate writing.”

Al Alvarez


“Now, if, as I think, writing should be, it's a kind of risky trade.”

Al Alvarez


“When you make a bet, you're saying something.”

Al Alvarez