Academic journal article The Mailer Review

Chronicler of the Century Did It All

Academic journal article The Mailer Review

Chronicler of the Century Did It All

Article excerpt

I HAVE NEVER KNOWN A CONTEMPORARY WRITER Who was more famous and who seemed to be less affected by his fame than Norman Mailer.

He was never part of a social class. Yes, he went to Harvard; yes, he was an intellectual, but he transcended that. He moved up and down the classes like a great oboist playing all the notes.

He knew the underclass and he knew the upper class and he was not enchanted with either so much, but he was comfortable with both.

He had friends who were prizefighters, who were stevedores, who were hookers. They weren't all people who were of the academy. He felt that being a good writer required knowing a large array of people.

I first met him 50 years ago and I knew him right through the final year of his life. I never knew all the friends he had because there was so much about him that was unknown to those of us that thought we knew him.

He had these dimensions, these depths of interest. He was never an authority on anything but he knew about everything. He wrote about Picasso, he wrote about Marilyn Monroe, he wrote about marching on the Pentagon. He knew about women-he had six wives, he had God knows how many lovers.

He was a man who never said no. He never said no to anything. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.