Joe Nolan's Insomnia — July 17, 2012 at 8:00 pm

So Long, Harry Crews


A few weeks back I was flipping through a Southern culture magazine at a drug store when I found out that Harry Crews had died at the end of March. The novelist, short story writer and memoirist was one of my literary heroes and -since we’re not doing a Coincidence Control Network podcast this afternoon – I felt it was my responsibility to slip in at least one pop-culture obituary here at the blog.

Here’s a nice bit from the obit Margalit Fox wrote for the New York Times:

“…Crews’s novels out-Gothic Southern Gothic by conjuring a world of hard-drinking, punch-throwing, snake-oil-selling characters whose physical, mental, social and sexual deviations render them somehow entirely normal and eminently sympathetic. . . . His ability to spin out a dark, glittering thread from this tangle of souls gave him a singular voice that could make his prose riveting.”

Harry Crews: Survival is Triumph Enough is a great short documentary that finds Crews waxing poetic on: orange soda, being boiled alive, his 12 rehab visits, his tattoos, growing-up poor in the rural South, Dylan Thomas, the virtues of rage, George Orwell, suicide, Shakespeare, polio, William Faulkner, the death of his young son, Freud, motorcycles, drinking and women.

Stay awake!

For more Insomnia, visit Joe’s Nolan’s web site.

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