On the Parapet

Every hundred yards Cummings steps up on the parapet, and peers
cautiously into the gloom of No Man's Land.

The Naked and the Dead

... and I was up, up on that parapet one foot wide, and almost
broke in both directions
, for a desire to dive right on over swayed
me out over the drop
, and I nearly fell back to the terrace
from the panic of that.

An American Dream

Since the Second World War Norman Mailer has demonstrated an unflagging ability to convert environmental pressures into lexical gestures which makes him one of the most resilient of recent American novelists. In this study of his novels I want to suggest why the image of a man standing on a parapet which appeared fleetingly in his first novel should become the crucial situation in a novel he wrote seventeen years later. But first we may make a more general approach to the subject which has obsessed him since he began writing. At the end of Saul Bellow's The Victim, Asa Leventhal cries out one last question to Albee: ' "what's your idea of who runs things?" ' It is an apt question with which to conclude a book in which the persecutor and the paranoid are never quite sure which role they are in at any particular moment. But more generally it could be said to be the question which occupies a large

From Critical Quarterly 2, vol. 12 ( Summer 1970). Copyright © 1970 by Critical Quarterly.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Norman Mailer


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 213

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?