The body of my work is an attempt to recreate one connected, if perhaps loosely integrated picture of American life as I have experienced it, imagined its possibilities, thought about it, and assimilated it. My aim is to trace out the human destinies of a number of individuals, and through the tracing of their destinies, to refract or reflect the so-called play of social forces on character, and of character upon social forces. The basis on which this work is built is a certain neighborhood and section of Chicago, which was described to some degree in my trilogy, Studs Lonigan, and from that section as a basis and focal point, my aim and ideal is to extend references outward, and broaden to include as many phases of American life as I can present. This particular story has no relationship to that neighborhood, and the stories dealing specifically with it, but it describes another type of character, and presents another human destiny, and as such, includes another social area in my work. In so doing, I think that it suggests certain of the potentialities of American life, certain of the possible and actual things that happen to prize fighters who are one representative type developed in America. So that it can be called one of many panels to be found in the body of work I have been, and am attempting to present as my experiencing and interpretation of American life.
James T. Farrell