Saturday, 10 November 2007

Norman Mailer is dead

To tell you the truth, I'm not that bothered about the work. It's work for the reader, with insufficient reward (had a go at Ancient Evenings?). It's his role in gossip and litcrit circles which is fun. Specifically the fact that he thumped Gore Vidal. Once in the Green Room of the Dick Cavett Show in 1971, when he butted him.
I don't like "headbutt" – a butt has to be done by the head, and if it means you butt someone TO the head, well, where are you going to butt them? on the knee?
Then seven years later, at a party, he threw a glass at him and, by some accounts, including Vidal's ("I saw this tiny fist coming at me"), punched him. Still on the floor, Vidal announced: "Words fail Norman Mailer. Yet again."
All that muscular nonsense American novelists go in for. How many times did Hemingway shoot himself, fall downstairs, or into fires, or all that rubbish?
Anyway, Vale.

2 comments:

Eldritch00 said...

My wife will be disappointed to hear that about Ancient Evenings; her avid interest in ancient Egypt was making her curious about it.

As for myself, the more I read about Mailer's life, the more I feel the way I assume you do (what with your use of "muscular nonsense").

Still, I do have a back-breaking hardcover of Harlot's Ghost here, waiting for me to read it, so I might just do so sometime. Probably when I find the physical strength to read it for however long it takes me.

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