Academic journal article The Mailer Review

Reflections

Academic journal article The Mailer Review

Reflections

Article excerpt

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 with exciting growth, innovative programs, distinguished speakers and faculty, and enthusiastic participation by gifted young writers. Random House is publishing a collection of Mailer's germinal essays. TASCHEN has paired Mailer's original text (his 1973 biography Marilyn) with Bert Stern's extraordinary photographs, a book conceived by Larry Schiller. Further, Criterion has recently released a newmaster set of all four Mailer films, and there is an HBO film of Mailer in the plans. We have much to look forward to over the coming year.

The 2012 volume of The Mailer Review marks our sixth consecutive year of a substantial life span for our kind of magazine/journal and we believe that we are in our infancy in ideas, enthusiasm, and dedicated readers. One might reasonably conclude that times have never been better for those interested in nurturing and expanding the legacy of one of America's most important writers across several genres. And it should not be forgotten that Mailer was a public intellectual of the first rank, as well as a serious filmmaker.

Yet, one of the major motifs of this issue, "Why Mailer Matters," may strike some readers as implying that Norman Mailer requires a defense or justification for his significance, for his presence in the contemporary, swirling world of ideas, particularly as new media have come to play a leading role in the dissemination of so many aspects of cultural and intellectual life. Our theme was not chosen to suggest a sense of urgency or the necessity of defense. On the contrary, the staff of the Review believes, strongly, in the fundamental, enduring strength of the Mailer legacy. However, we also believe that it is important for our pages to articulate, regularly and systematically, a range of seminal reasons why Mailer continues to have relevance in a world and nation changing more rapidly than ever, in evolving dimensions of culture, ideology, economics, and, of course, the importance of the word and its uneasy relationship with the importance of the image. …

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