What more could you want of a writer — dead or alive — who admits that his motivation for writing is to “shine my ass.”
In an interview he once stated that his motivation in writing fiction, “if there is any discernible, is probably ego and fear of mathematics, with overtones of money. Primarily I have a simple desire to shine my ass — to show off a bit in print.”
From New Orleans, Denver and Mississippi, Elliot Chaze, a newspaper man, also wrote fiction for The New Yorker, and this beautifully written pot-boiler My Angel Has Black Wings.
All the King’s Men with better faster, tougher and more elegant prose. Does anyone write this way today? Jesus on a bender with the devil maybe.
I said I’d kill her, but it lacked conviction, with the soft nauseau of the past two greasy high-on-the-hog months behind me. We were no more the same two people who slept in the rocks and counted our dreams than we were guppies. I loved her and was jealous of her and yet I was sick and ashamed of her, and knew she must be of me. I blamed the armored car money for her cheating on me and for my own cheating and for two months of insane buying and laughing. Heavenly God. I was running from my own name. I was too stinking rich and bloody and scared to listen to my real name. Love or no love I wanted to be rid of Virginia now…
Thanks as always to the New York Review Classics, who reprinted it.