Inspiring quotes by Al Alvarez

Top 10 most inspiring quotes by 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.
  • The better the artist, the more vulnerable he seems to be.
  • The point is that it looks like gambling because the language of the game is money.
  • Hold’em is a game of calculated aggression. If your cards are good enough for you to call a bet, they are good enough to raise with.
  • I mean being a writer is like being a psychoanalyst, but you don’t get any patients.
  • It is easy to smile at an insult and pretend it’s funny when the person insulting you is hosing you with money.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The real resistance now is to an art which forces its audience to recognize and accept imaginatively, in their nerve ends, not the facts of life but the facts of death and violence: absurd, random, gratuitous, unjustified, and inescapably part of the society we have created.
  • Twentieth-century art may start with nothing, but it flourishes by virtue of its belief in itself, in the possibility of control over what seems essentially uncontrollable, in the coherence of the inchoate, and in its ability to create its own values.

Al Alvarez (1929–2019) was a highly regarded British poet, critic, and author known for his contributions to literature and his passion for various artistic pursuits. Born on August 5, 1929, in London, Alvarez studied at Oxford University, where he developed an interest in poetry.

In the 1950s, Alvarez became associated with the literary movement known as the “Angry Young Men,” a group of writers who expressed disillusionment with the establishment. He gained prominence with his poetry collections, including “The Shaping Spirit” (1958) and “The End of It” (1958).

Beyond poetry, Alvarez achieved widespread recognition for his non-fiction works. His 1971 book “The Savage God: A Study of Suicide” explored the psychological and cultural aspects of suicide, showcasing his ability to delve into complex and sensitive topics. Additionally, Alvarez was an avid poker player, and his book “The Biggest Game in Town” (1983) delved into the world of professional poker with both literary and personal flair.

Throughout his career, Al Alvarez’s versatile talents as a poet, critic, and writer left an indelible mark on the literary landscape, earning him respect and admiration from peers and readers alike. He passed away on September 23, 2019, leaving behind a legacy of insightful writing and intellectual exploration.

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