Damon Runyon  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Google
Wikipedia
Wiktionary
Wiki Commons
Wikiquote
Wikisource
YouTube
Shop


Featured:
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Enlarge
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Damon Runyon (October 4, 1880December 10, 1946) was a newspaperman and writer.

He was best known for his short stories celebrating the world of Broadway in New York City that grew out of the Prohibition era. To New Yorkers of his generation, a "Damon Runyon character" evoked a distinctive social type from the Brooklyn or Midtown demi-monde. The adjective "Runyonesque" refers to this type of character as well as to the type of situations and dialog that Runyon depicted. He spun humorous tales of gamblers, hustlers, actors, and gangsters, few of whom go by "square" names, preferring instead colorful monikers such as "Nathan Detroit," "Big Jule," "Harry the Horse," "Good Time Charley," "Dave the Dude," or "The Seldom Seen Kid." Runyon wrote these stories in a distinctive vernacular style: a mixture of formal speech and colorful slang, almost always in present tense, and always devoid of contractions. A passage from "Tobias the Terrible", collected in More than Somewhat (1937) illustrates Runyan's memorable prose:

If I have all the tears that are shed on Broadway by guys in love, I will have enough salt water to start an opposition ocean to the Atlantic and Pacific, with enough left over to run the Great Salt Lake out of business. But I wish to say I never shed any of these tears personally, because I am never in love, and furthermore, barring a bad break, I never expect to be in love, for the way I look at it love is strictly the old phedinkus, and I tell the little guy as much.

The musical Guys and Dolls was based on two Runyon stories, "The Idyll of Miss Sarah Brown" and "Blood Pressure"; the film Little Miss Marker grew from his short story of the same name.

Runyon was also a newspaperman. He wrote the lead article for UPI on Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Presidential inauguration in 1933.

Films

Numerous Damon Runyon stories were adapted for the stage and the screen. Some of the best of these include:




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Damon Runyon" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools