Writer – Hubert Selby Jr

January 12, 2009

Hubert_Selby,_Jr.

bleak and violent world that was part of his youth. He stated, “I write, in part, by ear. I hear, as well as feel and see, what I am writing. I have always been enamoured with the music of the speech in New York.”[3] In style, Selby also differed from other writers. He was not concerned with proper grammar, punctuation, or diction, although Selby’s work is internally consistent; he uses the same unorthodox techniques in most of his works. He indented his paragraphs with alternating lengths, often by simply dropping down one line when he was finished with a paragraph. Like Jack Kerouac‘s “spontaneous prose”, Selby’s writing was often completed in a fast, stream of consciousness style, and to facilitate this he replaced his apostrophes with forward slashes “/” due to their closer proximity on his typewriter, thus allowing uninterrupted typing. He did not use quotation marks, and his dialogue might consist of a complete paragraph, with no denotion among alternating speakers. His prose was stripped down, bare and blunt.

His experience with longshoremen, the homeless, thugs, pimps, transvestites, prostitutes, queers, addicts and the overall poverty-stricken community, is best expressed in his most praised work, Last Exit to Brooklyn.

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