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Norman Mailer

I loved Norman Mailer's work from the first book I read. I don't even remember what it was, whether it was considered one of his best or his worst, but it doesn't matter. His misogyny was always obvious and it never mattered to me. The sheer intelligence and perception of the man, his way of offering himself to us, always overtook any thoughts I had about his character. I suspect that I was always more attracted to his vulnerability, so shockingly evident in almost everything he wrote, than to anything else. It just stunned me that he would reveal himself the way he did.

He was a media whore, or perhaps just didn't care what others saw. His personal life took the headlines more than his books. In the end, though, I believe the words will last and we'll know he was one of this country's greatest writers.


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 12th, 2007 07:19 pm (UTC)
Ah, Norman! I was watching American Masters on Channel 13 (my Mom & I had just finished watching The Seven-Year Itch) and there was Norman Mailer, among others, discussing La Monroe. There was also some of his prose (from his 1973 book about her, which I owned until it got crapped up with mold and moisture damage in storage, so now I have to go and actually pay for a copy) in the episode.

I guess I liked Mailer in spite of his weirdness about women. Or maybe I just liked the book because it discussed Marilyn Monroe, who I loved. And his book was actually better than a later one which was by someone else and not as well written.

But, ass that he sometimes was, he was also a great writer, and one cannot take it away from him. (But he had a nerve sometimes!) *g*
Nov. 14th, 2007 02:48 am (UTC)
That was my take, too. I put aside the prejudices and loved the rest. Interestingly, I just opened a box of books and found a biography of Mailer among them, one I found somewhere, probably in a used book store, but haven't yet read. It's Mailer: His Life and Times, by Peter Manso. I'm going to be reading it soon, no doubt.
Nov. 15th, 2007 11:01 pm (UTC)
That's pretty cool! There was a little material from Mailer in a Afro-American history course I had 3 years ago. That's all I want to say about it.

But he really was an interesting character, and the bio should be a great read!
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )


Judith Lautner
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