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Old 11-10-2007, 07:12 AM
 
Location: in the southwest
13,395 posts, read 41,918,897 times
Reputation: 13359

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Rest in peace (broken link)
When I think of Norman Mailer, I think "American."
He was brash, yet earnest; rough-and-ready, yet articulate and incisive.
I did not realize that he had been that old.
I well remember his Armies of the Night.
Loved his comments on the movie "When We Were Kings."
Rest now, Norman. Kurt's waiting for you with a comfy chair and a glass of Scotch.
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Old 11-10-2007, 07:29 AM
 
12,692 posts, read 18,422,728 times
Reputation: 6636
One of the greats. RIP
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Old 11-10-2007, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,446,856 times
Reputation: 3875
I was wondering if anyone would post about Mailer.

Yes, RIP.
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Old 11-11-2007, 05:41 PM
Status: "Write me in for POTUS" (set 11 days ago)
 
Location: Near Manito
20,098 posts, read 21,989,379 times
Reputation: 15151
Mailer had his demons. Ever-mindful of "The Big Novel" that he never wrote (though his first, The Naked and the Dead, came closest), Mailer compared hmself with Hemingway, battled the same demons as Papa -- drink, rough relations with women, the curse of early fame, and the seductions of clebrity vs the serious artist -- but lived long enough and with sufficient relevance to earn a place as one of our truly seminal writers during the six decades of his active career.

Mailer certainly had his share of controversies : the wife-stabbing, the longtime feud with the feminists, his benighted championing of convicted murderers. But he was politically lionized for his consistently far-left political views, and became a kind of elder statesman of the progressive literary establishment (though he shared their ignorance of their own hegemonic presence, preferring to think of himslef as an outsider among a suspicioulsy large crowd of "outsiders"!)

Mailer's prose was supple, varied, erudite and nearly always memorable. Though he occasionally slpped into incoherence (as in "Why Are We In Vietnam"), he was often enough an angel with words.

As a Vietnam combat veteran, The Naked and the Dead has always haunted me with its dead-accurate descriptions of war, death, and exhaustion in the jungle. No Vietnam-era writer has ever come close to Mailer in invoking what it was like in a tropical hell:

For the men at the point of the column every step demanded an inordinate effort of will. They shivered with revulsion, halted often to catch their breath. The jungle dripped wetly about them everywhere: the groves of bamboo trees grew down to the river edge, ther lacy delicate foliage lost in the welter of vines and trees. The brush mounted on the tree trunks, grew over their heads; the black river silt embedded itself in the roots of the bushes and between the pebbles under their feet. The water trickled over the stream bank tinkling pleasantly, but it was lost in the harsh uprooted cries of the jungle birds, the thrumming of the insects. Slowly, invevitably, the men felt the water soak through the greased waterproofing of their shoes, slosh up to their knees whenever they had to wade through a deeper portion of the stream. Their packs became heavy, their arms grew numb and their backs began to ache. Most of the men were carrying thirty pounds of rations and bedding, and with their two canteens of water, their ten clips of ammunition, their two or three grenades, their rifles and machetes, each of them had distributed almost sixty pounds of equipment over his body, the weight of a very heavy suitcase. Most of them became tired in walking the first few hundred yards; by the time they had gone perhaps half a mile they were weary and their breath was short; the weaker ones were beginning to have the flat sour taste of fatigue. The density of the jungle, the miasmal mists, the liquid rustlings, the badgering of the insects lost their first revulsion and terror. They were no longer so conscious of the forbidding wilderness before them; the vague unnamed stimulations and terrors of exploring this tunnel through the jungle became weaker, sank at last into the monotonous grinding demands of the march. Despite Croft's lecture, they began to walk with their heads down, looking at their feet.

(Excerpt used with permission)

Yes, that what what it was like. Mailer knew what the balance of the century had in store for us all.

Last edited by Yeledaf; 11-11-2007 at 06:03 PM..
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Old 11-16-2007, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,194 posts, read 25,446,856 times
Reputation: 3875
The Village Voice had a good OB on Mailer; thought some might appreciate reading it:

village voice > news > Runnin' Scared: Norman Mailer, 1923-2007 by Harry Bruinius
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Old 11-25-2007, 08:24 PM
 
16,934 posts, read 22,068,567 times
Reputation: 49538
It is kind of hard for me to comprehend the fact that both Kurt Vonnegut and Norman Mailer have all of a sudden left us.
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Old 11-29-2007, 02:03 AM
 
Location: England/Wales
3,531 posts, read 2,253,383 times
Reputation: 1354
BBC NEWS | Entertainment | Late Mailer wins 'bad sex' award
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Old 12-01-2007, 02:56 PM
 
Location: home...finally, home .
8,336 posts, read 19,185,196 times
Reputation: 18061
When I lived in Brooklyn thirty years ago, I actually saw Norman Mailer in Bohacks (a now defunct supermarket) . I was pushing my little boy in his stroller. I sort of surreptitiously followed him hoping he'd talk to me. (What a jerk, right?) Of course , he never even noticed me and I never did speak with him & he left the store with a pound of salami , I think.
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Old 12-18-2007, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,527 posts, read 7,738,382 times
Reputation: 7463
I read the Naked And The Dead and enjoyed it. I tried several others by him hoping that they would be OK but he shot his wad on the first one.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:48 PM
 
Location: The Conterminous United States
22,573 posts, read 49,157,696 times
Reputation: 13471
I loved "The Executioner's Song" but hated "Tough Guy's Don't Dance."
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