Saturday, November 10, 2007

Norman Mailer -- gone

Much of the time, I thought Norman Mailer said outrageous things just for the sake of being outrageous, so that the public would stop and take notice of his outrageousness.

Like the time he said women ought to be kept in cages, so they could concentrate on their real purpose in life -- giving birth to as many children as possible so as to improve the species.

Well, he's dead now, so I'll never get to ask him if that indeed what was in the back of his mind when he said such goofy shit.

This, of course, is not to detract from his abilities as a writer.

But maybe his outrageousness was just normal for him, and all the rest of us are too stiff around the collar. You think?

His obit in the NY Times carried this paragraph, which described a decade of his life following the great success of his first book, "The Naked and the Dead," and the critical panning of his two books that followed that.

For much of the ’50s he drifted, frequently drunk or stoned or both, and affected odd accents: British, Irish, gangster, Texan.

Norman Mailer as a Texan? Now that I'd like to have seen. Hope it was better than Rock Hudson playing a Texan in "Giant." Probably was. [link]

No comments: