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A Large & Startling Figure

The Harry Crews Online Bibliography


Portraits from an Interview with Harry Crews

Four Color Portraits

By Tom Graves


Color Portrait #1
January 27, 1979.
Campus.
University of Florida, Gainesville.

"I traveled twenty-seven hundred miles with a gambler for a piece that I wrote for Playboy, called 'Carny,' being with, I don't know, what society considers outcasts or not very nice folks. Being with them, minorities of whatever sort, Chicanos, Jews, blacks, south Georgia tenant farmers, and also gamblers, pimps, prostitutes, street hustlers for smack, scag, coke, that whole sort of thing, you get a view of the world from where they are that you would never get sitting in this office in this boondoggle of a building on a multimillion-dollar university."

  

Color Portrait #2
January 27, 1979.
Campus.
University of Florida, Gainesville.

"There is nothing gratuitous in my work. There are no descriptions of landscapes that are gratuitous, there are no descriptions of people that are gratuitous. There is nothing in my work that is not necessary and inevitable to the action, the place, and the circumstances that I'm writing about."

  

Color Portrait #3
January 27, 1979.
Campus.
University of Florida, Gainesville.

"I'm convinced that those years up to the time you're six or seven years old, that's where you really get bent. That's where you get towards wherever you're going."

  

Color Portrait #4
January 27, 1979.
Campus.
University of Florida, Gainesville.

"I don't suppose you could imagine a more alienated human being than a south Georgia sharecropper who must move every year from one leeched-out patch of soil to another. Never owning anything. With his back continually to the wall. Other people get medical care. He gets none. Other people get oranges and grapefruit or lemons to keep from getting trench mouth or scurvy, but he has none. Other people have children who have shoes. But his have none. I mean, if he's not alienated, who the hell is? Maybe if I write about alienated male characters, maybe this alienation comes just from my own life."

  

. . .


 
A Large & Startling Figure: The Harry Crews Online Bibliography
www.harrycrews.org/Features/Portraits/GravesT-Portraits_color.html
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