Al Alvarez

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Al Alvarez

Alfred Alvarez (born 5 August 1929) is an English poet, literary critic and writer of non-fiction on many subjects. His 1962 anthology The New Poetry attracted a new public to contemporary American poetry, as well as British poets of The Movement and The Group.


  • His face was blue, on his fingers
    Flecks of green. 'This is my father',
    I thought.
    • Poem Mourning and Melancholia.

The Savage God (1971)[edit]

Quotations are cited from the 1972 Random House edition.

  • 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.
    • Page 25.
  • 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.
    • Page 251.
  • 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.
    • Page 254.
  • 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.
    • Page 262.

External links[edit]

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