Kid Obey's Robe

A Short Story by Alfred de Grazia

ALL PLAYS of Alfred de Grazia

These plays are published here for the first time. One of them represents an unpublished drama of fifty years ago, but fourteen were conceived and written during the past two years. The only people who have read them all are my author-wife, Anne-Marie, and my grandson and film-maker, Nick Vanderpool. Others have read one or several of them. If all goes well, they will constitute most of the repertoire for the 2002 season of a theatrical troupe touring America and Europe.


Ronald’s Norm was written by Alfred de Grazia in the early 1970's. It is published here on the Web for the first time. It is set in Greenwich Village and follows the career of a young man convinced that the way to the Great American Novel is by the employment of the largest number of clichés, because the great people has honed them to perfection and knows them all. Ron is the eternal aspiring author on the margins of formal education and the job market. He inveigles a psychology professor Merck into reading his chapters, and Meerck confides them to his mistress, Muriel, a pretty and plucky woman who argues with Merck that Ron’s work is good. Ron falls in love with her, and loses interest in completing his work, but Merck is convinced now of the value of the novel and decides to finish it himself. Moreover he writes an article on the subject of universals in language. Ron is implicated but exonerated in the murder of his boss who has been running a company that separated people who did not want to preserve an association. He discovers that everybody he meets has in mind writing a novel. Plots abound. Ron’ boss was killed, for dissociating people forcibly. Merck, who is sexually AC-DC cannot make headway with Ron but has his good moments with others, and gets over his anger at Muriel’s falling for Ron. Ron and Muriel start up an opposite service company to bring people together. Merck happily collaborates. All ends rather pleasantly.


'Blackout' is a novel about a black Professor's imagined experiences and the conduct of New Yorkers in a crisis. The principal character resembles somewhat the film director and writer, his friend, Mel Van Peebles; the two men had produced a couple of documentaries together, but were out of touch at the time.

Alfred de Grazia wrote the novel in the month following the amazing mass experience in November 1965 of a total blackout of electricity in New York City. He made his way from his office into the streets, visited several of his haunts, like the Cedar Tavern, and returned to his pied à terre at Fifth Avenue and Washington Square. He slept briefly, aroused himself, and was plotting his novel when the lights came on, first entitling the book "Twelve Hours by Candle." He walked out onto the streets with the dawn.

The manuscript was put aside for thirty-five years until its present publication on the Web.


A book of poems collected and published while the author was in Vietnam in 1967. They represent the variety of styles and rhythms, with the philosophical thrusts, pragmatic and phenomenological, that typically characterize his prose work. Some poems are as simple as mud pies, others as abstract as medieval scholastics.



A collection of 119 poems, poetry that is a concentration upon profound hypothesis, most in free verse, with sections on ecology, sociograms, places, intimacies, identity, violence, death, gods and the wickedly uncontrollable world.


A one-act play based upon the crisis that rocked French society in the times of Emile Zola and the anti-dreyfusards. Scandalous and surrealist material in a raucus style. Reminiscent of recent American historical follies.


In the summer of 1998, at Naxos, Alfred de Grazia discussed plans for the forthcoming Millennium festival of Stockholm with Swedish friends involved in staging the spectacle. Late in 1998, he decided to submit to the Organizing Committee a scheme for the Festival that would stress the world connections of Sweden and the transition of the Swedes from a medieval people to a post-modern people. The proposal for what he called a Mass Thing, a Happening, was sent in at the beginning of 1999. It is published for the first time here on the Web. More modest ideas, however, prevailed, that Walt Disney would better appreciate.


Two great but vastly different poets receive beautiful and strict translation at the hands of the Franco-American novelist , Anne-Marie de Grazia.


A harrowing tragedy of a poor family in Alsace.