The Mailer Review

Articles from Vol. 8, No. 1, Fall

A Conversation with Norman Mailer
Jonathan Middlebrook published Mailer and the Time of His Time in 1976 (Bay Books). This selection is the first chapter of the volume. Permission to reprint has been graciously given by the author. SUPPOSE, NEVER HAVING MET HIM, YOU INVITED NORMAN...
An American Tragedy and the Executioner's Song: Receptions and Controversies
On October 24, 2013, at the Eleventh Annual meeting of the International Norman Mailer Society, Jerome Loving and J. Michael Lennon discussed, comparatively, Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy And Norman Mailer's The Executioner's Song. The panel...
A POSTMODERN MOMENT WITH DON DELILLO AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS[c]
A MAN AT THE TOP OF THE STAIRS. Outside a dog barks. It sounds like the dogs in Uzbekistan. A small man, pale, wearing a checkered shirt, brown pants, a baggy jacket. They stand there. The floor creaks. The room whispers of death. The old writer who...
A Rosy Fingered Dawn?
Norman Mailer: Legacy and Literary Americana By Donald L. Kaufmann Saarbrucken, Germany: Scholars' Press, 2014 402 pp. Paperback $94.00 WITH THIS BOOK, DONALD L. KAUFMANN STEPS UP in his late eighties to become the Grand Old Gentleman of Mailer...
Back to Fort Bragg
A man knew that when he dissented,he gave a note upon his life which could be called in any year of overt crisis. No wonder then that these have been the years of conformity and depression. "The White Negro" WITH NORMAN MAILER, ONE OFTEN GETS THE...
Boy Scout Jamboree
IN SPRING THE SCOUTS USED TO HOLD A JAMBOREE over at the old Three County Fair Grounds across the river. Naturally, this involved staying overnight in tents, a significant part of the scouting experience. The idea was to introduce new tenderfoots to...
Cardinals
A PAIR OF CARDINALS HAD PECKED THROUGH THE HOUSING of my pool pump, leaving a pile of plastic flakes in the mud. "Cardinals mate for life," the pool man reminded me. "The shenanigans won't quit." "They're beautiful birds," I pointed out. "They're...
From God's Attic to Boom-Boom Slang: Looking for Mailer's Lq
Norman Mailer: Legacy and Literary Americana By Donald L. Kaufmann Scholar's Press Saarbrucken, Germany, 2014 394 pp. Paper $93.00 DON KAUFMANN IS SUN-HOT. Standing in front of a crowd in a small room at the Holiday Inn, he leans forward, his arms...
Harlot's Anatomy
HARLOT'S GHOST HAS BEEN DISPARAGED AS INCOHERENT by Louis Menand, criticized as overly long by John Simon and as intermittently dull by Thomas Edwards, and judged seriously unresolved by just about all of its reviewers and critics. (1) In particular,...
In the Deserts of the Heart: The Executioner's Song
WHEREIN LIES THE "EXCEPTIONAL" NATURE OF THE UNITED STATES? How do we solve what Dave Eggers calls "the enigma of America" (xiii)? Amid America's political and cultural conflict, shall we find any kind of consensus? What relevance does Norman Mailer's...
Into the Woods
A Berkshire Boyhood: Confessions and Reflections of a Baby Boomer By Robert J. Begiebing Tucson, AZ: Anaphora Literary Press, 2013 162 pp Paper $20.00 "WE STOOD ON THE ROCKS OVERLOOKING THE PACIFIC OCEAN preparing to spread my father's ashes among...
La Petite Bourgeoise
"LA PETITE BOURGEOISE," 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 Norman...
La Petite Bourgeoise
ROSALIE HAS LOVELY RED HAIR AND BLUE EYES; she is plump and she has the throaty voice of a young actress. She carries her body provocatively, it whispers innuendo, and even as one is convinced that she is offering something, her eyes deny it with their...
Mailer and Ali: Existential Affinities
This essay is dedicated to my beloved sister, Patricia Ann Thomas Stubis, my own personal hero and an avid Mailer reader.--JTF DESPITE WHAT ON THE SURFACE APPEAR TO BE MULTIPLE DIFFERENCES between Norman Mailer and Muhammad Ali, from an existential...
Mailer and Hemingway: Sum of the Parts
IT IS NOT NEWS TO NOTE THE CONNECTIONS between Ernest Hemingway and Norman Mailer. It is also not news to talk about how both men pushed the boundaries of American journalism. Both writers use masculine metaphors and personal experience to report current...
Mailer's Brooklyn
Editor's note: In Mark Noonan's 2013 essay in The Mailer Review, "Brooklyn Accents and the Paradox of Ambition in Norman Mailer and Arthur Miller," figures one and two were transposed: 555 Crown St. was labeled as 102 Pierrepont, and vice versa. ...
Mailer Scholarship as Equipment for Living: The Testament of Barry Leeds
A Moveable Beast: Scenes from My Life By Barry H. Leeds Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2014 155 pages $26.24 (Hardcover), $16.25 (Paperback) from Amazon.com FORTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, BARRY LEEDS PUBLISHED the very first book-length study of a certain...
Mailer's Resistance-A Little Lesson in Free Speech
The secret of liberty is always, in the end, the courage to resist. --Harold Laski (94) WHAT DOES NORMAN MAILER HAVE TO DO WITH THE FIRST AMENDMENT? There are two answers: In one sense, nothing, in another sense, everything. Let us start with...
Making War with a Little Help from My Friends: Hemingway, Mailer, and O'brien
THE ACTUAL MAKING OF WAR is often more discussed in the realm of national and international politics than it is explored in relation to the actual fields of battle. At this macro-level, fighting--the actual perception of the making and waging of war--is...
Master Weaver in Action
On October 26, 2013 Susan Mailer gave the keynote address at the Eleventh Annual meeting of the International Norman Mailer Society in which she recaptures key memories of time spent with her father in Mexico. BAGS OF ICE, BOTTLES OF RUM AND TEQUILA,...
Norman Mailer and His Reception in Slovenia
AFTER THE SECOND WORLD WAR, SLOVENES (until 1991 Slovenia was a part of Yugoslavia) were relatively well in touch with contemporary American literature, at least with the works of the most popular and the best authors from the United States. Janez...
Norman Mailer and the Oxford English Dictionary
NORMAN MAILER RANKS AMONG THE MOST COPIOUSLY PRODUCTIVE, widely read, critically acclaimed, vehemently vilified, and highly controversial American writers of the post-WWII era. As a public intellectual and celebrity spokesman for left-wing causes like...
Norman Mailer Bibliography: 2013
Addenda Through 2012 SECONDARY Essays,Articles, Book Chapters, Dissertations, and Creative Works Bao, Dandan. "Discretion and Intersection: The Narrative Features of The Naked and the Dead." Journal of Zhenjiang College 3 (2009): 33-36. Print....
Norman Redux
Mailer's America By Dr. Joe Wenke Stamford, CT: Trans Uber, 2014 268 pp Paper $14.99 Digital Editions Available OVER THE PAST TWO YEARS, MAILER STUDIES HAS ENJOYED the publication of an unprecedented number of major works. J. Michael Lennon's biography...
Opening the Sarcophagus: Searching for the Author in Autobiography
American Authorship and Autobiographical Narrative: Mailer, Wideman, and Eggers. Jonathan D'Amore. Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. $85 (Hardcover) 197pp. IN AMERICAN AUTHORSHIP AND AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL NARRATIVE, Jonathan D'Amore investigates the array of...
Reading Ancient Evenings
"How can a book that I have read with such amazement and bliss be so snottily dismissed by so many?" --George Kearns, the Hudson Review "That reviewers felt free to denounce... in just these terms... was a measure of the present revolt against high...
Red Scare: The Early Cold War in Novels by Mailer, Doctorow, and Roth
IN 1949, RUSSIA TESTED ITS FIRST NUCLEAR BOMB, meaning that America no longer held the nuclear monopoly. Soon after, the Korean War began, and fear reached a peak of hysteria in the U.S. in the early 1950s. I was then a student in the New York City...
Reflections
THIS YEAR CONTINUES THE SURGE IN MAILER STUDIES that gained momentum in 2013 with the publication of the authorized Mailer biography by J. Michael Lennon, Norman Mailer: A Double Life (Simon & Schuster). The Random House volume of selected essays...
Split Decisions: An Asynchronous Discussion on Norman Mailer and Boxing
The following discussion took place over the course of several months through email, phone calls, a shared Google Doc, and hotel room conversations. Hopefully, this version will provide a reasonably smooth experience for the reader. What was at the...
Teaching Controversy: Norman Mailer in the College Classroom
PROVOCATIVE. SHOCKING. PORNOGRAPHIC. These words have been used frequently to describe Norman Mailer's extraordinary life and work. But these words began to appear trite and tedious as Mailer's shock value declined in the 1960s and 1970s. "Even Mailer...
Teaching Norman Mailer in Afghanistan
This essay recounts Prof. Chandarlapaty's experiences teaching at the American University of Afghanistan, where he is presently in his third year. THE PROJECT FOR TEACHING MAILER'S BODY OF WORK in a war-torn country that had expressed its hatred for...
The Existential Sublime: Mailer's the Prisoner of Sex
"If you were in awe of women... and believed that sex had meaning... one was the prisoner of sex" --Norman Mailer THE IDEA FOR THIS PAPER WAS INSPIRED BY KURT FAWVER'S doctoral dissertation, directed by Phillip Sipiora, called The Terror of Possibility:...
THE GOLDEN GOWN --after Yehudit Arnon
Birkenau. The new woman pushed up beside me on the stone slab cries out in Hungarian in her sleep. I press my hand over her lips. Morning. Before the guard arrives, I show them how to unknot their bodies, stretch. Facing me, women in pajamas, striped...
The Mailer Family
On October 25, 2013 three members of the Mailer family attended the Eleventh Annual meeting of the International Norman Mailer Society. Mailer relatives included Barbara Mailer Wasserman (Mailer's younger sister), Susan Mailer, and John Buffalo Mailer...
The Naked, the Eloquent, and the Dead
IN HER 1985 STUDY, THE BODY IN PAIN, ELAINE SCARRY EXPLORES the effects of physical pain on human language and experience. The first two sections of her work focus upon war and torture as loci of the infliction of pain, with the aim of undermining...
Utter Mailer
SOUND REASONING One of the great paradoxes of Norman Mailer's career is that, in a field where literary precedent is considered essential to the understanding of a writer's creative process, there is often deeper insight to be gained through the...
Walking into the Zeitgeist: A Conversation with Jules Feiffer
Of the artists and writers who most effectively captured, characterized and commented on the evolving American scene from World War II to the twenty-first century, Norman Mailer and Jules Feiffer would have to be near the top of any list. In the following...
Why an Echo Is the Shadow of a Sound: The Resonance of Metaphor in Mailer's Writing
This essay is a version of a conference presentation in October 2013 at the Eleventh International Norman Mailer Conference I AM GOING TO OFFER SOME REMARKS ON METAPHOR in several of Norman Mailer's books, utilizing a sequence that Elvis Presley sang...
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