A Conversation for The Expression 'Live Fast, Die Young and Leave a Good-looking Corpse'

origin of the quotation

Post 1


The origin of this quotation is from Willard Motley's best selling 1947 novel, Knock on Any Door. It is the catch phrase of the protagonist, Nick Romano, an italian alter boy turned thug, male hustler, and eventually cop killer. Most people don't know that the author was African American and, recently discovered, queer. The movie version cuts out of the queer stuff and the race stuff--really all of the interesting stuff about the work.

I've been wondering about the potential significance of wanting a beautiful corpse. It is odd, the desire to be desirable even in the casket. Beauty was his only weapon in life, and a queer beauty it was. His interracial friendships and queer friendships/intimacies were part of his status as rebel non conformist. Pretty progressive, even if problematic, for the time period.

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origin of the quotation

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