Obituaries for Himself

Norman Mailer is dead. Heading out the door so I can’t discuss it right now (other than to say: Damn), but please feel free to do so if you want.

17 Comments on “Obituaries for Himself”

  1. First Vonnegut, and now Mailer.
    Is there a living writer or thinker that could fill either of those voids?
    Western culture just got that much poorer.
    I hope Umberto Eco is taking his vitamins.

  2. Well, I guess we can take it under consideration, but we have been given death notifications from Whatever before only later to find out that they were the truth.

  3. Not knowing much about him as a writer, it’s strange seeing his dirty laundry dragged out in obituaries like this one. I have a feeling that I’m walking away with a skewed image of who he was.

    Two facts that jumped off the page at me were the fact that he “stabbed his second wife, almost fatally,” and “crusaded against the women’s liberation movement.” It’s difficult to relate to the deceased after two bombs like that have been dropped.

  4. He used women like kleenex, and stabbed at least one of his wives. I worked with a female cousin of his, and she notably said “Cousin Norm is a pig”. I’ve never had reason to question her judgment in this.

    He didn’t write all that well, either.

  5. I can’t recall having ever read any of his writing, so my reaction is more “Oh” than anything else.From what I read in that obituary, it doesn’t sound as though he was that admirable a person.

  6. Muscular lyrical prose, arrogance that pretty much defines “hubris”, a daunting talent, and to all outside appearances, a miserable, fucking human being.

    All told, although I wouldn’t mind seeing “a daunting talent” on my tombstones, I don’t want “a miserable, fucking human being” on it.

  7. Maybe it says more about me than it does about Norman Mailer, but I’ve tried to read “The Naked and the Dead” 3 or 4 times.

    Can. Not. Get. Through. The. Thing.


  8. I inherited a button from my grandmother, a remnant of Mailer’s ill-fated run for Mayor of New York City. It says “Vote the Rascals In”. It never ceases to make me giggle.

  9. Give me a writer dripping hubris, talent, sweat, dissatisfaction!

    Give me a writer that would rather take your brain by force, than by the mincing posturing of so much of the current “literature”.

    No, they rarely play nice and hardly ever respect our carefully balanced truce with modern correctness. I would rather be forced to deal with a great talent and personality I cannot agree with, than a carefully edited provider of theme-parks for the mind.

    Hunter S. Thompson – (July 18, 1937 – February 20, 2005)
    Kurt Vonnegut – (November 11, 1922 – April 11, 2007)
    Norman Mailer – (January 31, 1923 – November 10, 2007)

    Where are the writers with talent and ego enough to step into the void these three have left?

    Or are we all simply waiting for the next stale Ludlum adrenalin drip, or the next Million Little Pieces of Plagiarism to come out?

    So it goes, in fuggin Bat Country.

  10. He had some interesting thoughts on theology toward the end, and now he knows if he was right.

%d bloggers like this: