The Mailer Review

Articles from Vol. 6, No. 1, Fall

A Philosophical Launch of A Fire on the Moon Ignites into Moonfire
IN 1961, PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY, IN A SPECIAL MESSAGE TO CONGRESS, threw down the gauntlet: "I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely...
Debauchery Duet
Laura Meets Jeffrey: Both Sides of an Erotic Memoir By Jeffrey Michelson and Laura Bradley Lehigh Valley, PA: New Blue, 2012 310 pp. Cloth $24.99 Available as a signed Limited First edition, eBook, and Audio Book. WITH THE CURE FOR AIDS...
From Hem to Eternity: James Jones, Hemingway, Paris-Meditation & Memoir
I "For Norman, my dearest enemy, my most feared friend." Inscription by James Jones in Norman Mailer's copy of From Here to Eternity I do not remember when or where I first read the work of James Jones. With some authors--Faulkner and Hemingway,...
Gore and Norman in Provincetown
J. Michael Lennon was Mailer's archivist, editor and friend. He is completing the official biography of Mailer for 2013 publication by Simon and Schuster. In the fall of 2002, my wife Donna and I were living in Provincetown, and Gore Vidal...
Great American App: Norman Mailer, Electronic Books, and Revolutionary Consciousness
"We deal in deception here. What we do not deal with is self-deception."--The Departed Helen Morris, today Mrs. Martin Scorsese, introduced me to Norman Mailer. Helen was my boss at "Little Random," the cutesy nickname of the publishing conglomerate's...
Literature as Life; Life as Literature: Mailer's Existential Shout of Defiance in an American Dream
I WOULD SUBMIT THAT MAILER MATTERS BECAUSE HIS WORKS AT THEIR BEST ARE positively life changing. Mailer has changed my life for the better, and I firmly believe he has changed many more by the exultant shout of existential defiance that informs virtually...
Mailer and Updike: Probing American Culture as Writers and Celebrities
"What great artists do is so profound, you don't debate with it." --Norman Mailer (Spooky Art 260) "[W]hat a writer wants, as every aspiring writer can tell you, is to get into print. To transform the changing shadows of one's dimly and fitfully...
Mailer Is Back
Harlot's Ghost was published by Random House on October 2, 1991. The following interview, which took place three months earlier on July 7, was the first one Mailer gave on the completed novel. When it was published, under the title "Mailer's America,"...
Mailer Matters
POSTMODERNISM IS DEAD, BURIED IN THE RUBBLE OF 9/11. SO SAYS "THE FIRST comprehensive retrospective, Postmodernism--Style and Subversion 1970-1990" at the esteemed Victoria and Albert Museum. British writer Alex Kirby concurs in his article "The Death...
Mailer's Modern Myth: Reexamining Violence and Masculinity in an American Dream
"Being a man is the continuing battle of one's life, and one loses a bit of manhood with every stale compromise to the authority of any power which one does not believe." --Norman Mailer, Advertisements for Myself "One has to look in the eye...
Many Happy Returns
If you spend time in war zones or with the military, there's a sense that the United States is not at war. The U.S. military is at war. Go to a base like Fort Hood, there are blood drives, Gold Star Mothers who have lost a son, people on crutches all...
Marilyn Close Up
Marilyn & Me: A Photographers Memories By Lawrence Schiller New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday 114 pp. Cloth $20 Also available by Taschen (signed and numbered monograph) THE EVENTS SURROUNDING THE PUBLICATION OF LAWRENCE SCHILLER'S...
Missing the Contradictions
Norman Mailer: The Self-Appointed Messiah By Gwendolyn Chabrier Bangkok: Orchid Press, 2008 224 pp. Paperback $21.95 IN THE TENTH PRESIDENTIAL PAPERUMINORITIES, mailer writes that "minority groups are the artistic nerves of a republic ......
My First Encounter with Norman Mailer
LITTLE DID I KNOW WHEN I DECIDED TO WRITE ON NORMAN MAILER AS PART OF my PhD dissertation that one day we would meet and become friends a friendship that lasted for nearly thirty years. What is it like to meet your literary idol? It was, without a...
Narrative Voices, Dialectics, and the Fiction of Norman Mailer
BACKGROUND Critics at first found little value in Mailer's earlier and often dismissed shorter writings. Later many critics began to find social and political, even literary value, in what had been previously dismissed. (1) In this article, I will...
Never So Simple: Why We Should Learn from Mailer's Engagement with Complexity
THE SOCIAL UNREST THAT RAGED ACROSS ENGLAND IN AUGUST 2011 WAS SHOCKING not merely for the magnitude and severity of the violence but also for the polarizing reaction of the UK's heteroglossia. Prime Minister David Cameron's response (1) was to label...
Norman Mailer and the Nobel Prize
Going through my papers recently I came across the carbon of a letter nominating Norman Mailer for the Nobel Prize in Literature. It probably dates from around 1980 since it refers to The Executioner's Song as recently published. The PEN American Center...
Norman Mailer Bibliography: 2011
Addenda Through 2010 PRIMARY Mailer, Norman. Miami and the Siege of Chicago. 1968. New York: New York Review of Books, 2008. Print. New York Review Books Classics. --. Abbie Hoffman, and Timothy Leary. Chicago Seven: Testimony From the 1968...
Norman Mailer: Genre Bender
GIVEN THE PREVALENCE OF SOPHOMORE LITERATURE SURVEYS IN OUR COLLEGES and universities, courses whose primary purpose is to provide an historical overview of major writers' works and times, the anthologies assigned in such courses play a role in establishing...
Reflections
THIS YEAR AND THE YEAR AHEAD ARE PARTICULARLY NOTABLE AND PROSPEROUS TIMES FOR Mailer Studies. The long-awaited authorized biography by J. Michael Lennon will soon be published. The Norman Mailer Center and The Norman Mailer Writers Colony are thriving...
Reporting with the Inner Eye: George Plimpton on Writing and Sports
AN INTERVIEW WITH ERIK NAKJAVANI (1) Beautifully observed and incredibly conceived, this account of a self-imposed ordeal has the chilling quality of a true nightmare. [Out of My League] is the darkside of the moon of Walter Mitty. --Ernest Hemingway...
Stuntmensch
Why are people stuntmen when the chances of getting seriously hurt are very large? It's because that's their cure. It's because that's their cure. --Norman Mailer Stuntmensch died on October 12. The cause was CGI. The notice in Daily Variety...
The Blade and the Gambler: F. Scott Fitzgerald and Norman Mailer
If the years since the war had not been brave or noble in the history of the country ... why then did it come as surprise that people in publishing were not as good as they used to be, and that the day of Maxwell Perkins was a day which was gone, really...
The Blood of the Blunt
'The Blood of the Blunt,' a short story by Norman Mailer, was never published. It is not known with certainty when Mailer wrote the story, but its date of composition is believed to be circa 1951. A transcription of the story follows the images. The...
The Life and Death of the Celebrity Author in Maidstone
JUST AS THE TEXT OF NORMAN MAILER'S ADVERTISEMENTS FOR MYSELF IS AN attempt to let the reader in on a range of aspects of Norman Mailer's writing life, the paratext of the original 1959 edition is remarkable for its efforts to show the consumer detailed...
The Living George Plimpton: Taking a Sporting Stance between Hemingway and Mailer
March 31 '77 Dear Erik Well, I was very surprised indeed, and honored, to receive the: pamphlet you and your confreres worked on. I'm not sure what an honoree is supposed to say in such a situation--unlike the man receiving the gold watch at...
The Mailer Legacy and Aleatory Burroughs
WILLIAM S. BURROUGHS (1914-97), BORN NEARLY A DECADE BEFORE NORMAN Mailer, created a far-out canon, airy random literary nuggets that marked him as a serious literary "deconstructionist," yet his seminal importance to Mailer is undeniable. The Burroughs's...
The Martyrdom of Mailer
This profile/interview originally appeared in The Guardian in 1997. Permission to reprint has been granted by the author. Andrew O' Hagan also interviewed Norman Mailer in 2007 for The Paris Review. Norman Mailer's eyes are old globes of trouble....
The Norman Mailer/Jose Torres Saturday Morning Boxing Club and My War with Ryan O'Neal
The excerpt below is chapter 28 in Laura Meets Jeffrey (New Blue Books: 2012), an S&M romance the author slipped into after he fell in love in a brothel.--JM Other than fucking, my other great physical passion was boxing. From 1976 to 1984 when...
The Prescience of Mailer's Marxism: Socialism or Barbary Shore?
The history of the last twenty years may be divided into two decades: a decade of economic crisis, and a decade of war and the preparations for war-- I was a dog on a chain, and the radius circumscribed a world in which I was able to provide for...
To Deliver the Metaphor: Intent and Rhetoric in Norman Mailer
NORMAN MAILER WAS THE ICONIC WRITER-PERFORMER WHO SOUGHT TO deliver, at least notionally, directions in alternate reality. He remained unabashed in his role as a game changer, consumed by reality curves he believed he was scripting; in his words, "to...
Why Mailer and Jones Matter
The following panel and discussion, moderated by Barry H. Leeds, took place on November 11, 2011, in the Prothro Theatre of the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, Austin, during the joint conference of the James Jones and Norman Mailer...
Why Mailer Mattered, Why Mailer Matters
IN MY FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE I RECEIVED A PAT ON THE HEAD FROM JOHN Abbott, one of two professors who made me feel like I might someday be able to know something. His introduction to literature course included a non-fiction text, Of a Fire on the...