Norman Mailer, towering writer with ego to match, is dead at the age of 84... NYT ... AP ... LAT ... Nation ... Guardian ... Reuters ... Telegraph ... Salon ... Chic Trib ... BBC ... Newsday ... Boston Globe ... NPR ... Time ... CNN ... NYT ... USAToday ... Wash Post ... London Times ... LAT ... Salon ... SF Chron ... Independent ... dissent from Roger Kimball
I read a great deal of Mailer in my youth, then opted out and never went back as I just couldn't be bothered with the doorstop that was "Ancient Evenings".
If anything of his stands the test of time it will be the longer non-fiction rather than the novels or essays.
So much of what he wrote was truth be told and for all the macho posturing, on the silly side of quaint. Do you remember all the "fugging" in "The Naked and the Dead" or the airhead indulgent daftness of "The White Negro"?
I remember that the blurb in the back of my paper back copy of "Advertisements for Myself" said something along the lines of "Norman Mailer is the author of 'The Naked and the Dead', The Deer Park', '"Why are we in Vietnam' and other books that have knocked the 20th Century on its heels." My italics.
"Up to a point, Lord Copper."