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.