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November 12, 2007

Norman Mailer (1923-2007)

I don't think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for.

Irish guys always liked Norman Mailer. About twenty five years ago Legs McNeil wrote, after doing an interview with Mailer, "nobody talks better than Norm". Mailer reveled in words, and the man could talk. And punch. But our best-ever American literary talker-brawler won two Pulitzers, and was famous for writing alone by the age of 25. He died at age 84 on Friday after nearly 60 years on a pedestal he built and maintained himself. He could be a blow-hard, but he knew something important. Strong opinions put strongly--about writing, men, women, politics, modern life--isn't about getting press. It's a way to have the Conversation in the midst of conformity and complacency. Enemies?

Natural provocateur Mailer knew also that, if you don't have a few, you simply aren't in the game. Like Mailer himself, the news coverage is spirited, opinionated, immense. L.A. Times: Mailer: An Ego with an Insecure Streak; The Irish Times: U.S. Literary Giant, Norman Mailer Dies Aged 84; NYT: Towering Writer with a Matching Ego, Dies at 84; The Guardian: Death of an Icon; The Huffington Post: Norman Mailer: Death and Remembrance. But Norm would have liked this next one the best. Via Pajamas Media, see at Chesler Chronicles: "Norman Mailer, one Tough Jew, is dead." And how many Jewish guys can drink like that? Gaelic retired toper WAC? is way impressed. Keep up the Conversation, Norm. We're bored down here already.

Posted by JD Hull at November 12, 2007 07:36 AM


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