Mailer Made America His Subject

Michiko Kakutani – The New York Times

Copyright The New York Times
A very funny excerpt from Michiko Kakutani’s appreciation of Normal Mailer on his death:
As early as the 1980s Mr. Mailer observed that most of his ideas — about God and art and violence, as well as his view of America as a kind of spiritually impoverished Cancer Gulch — developed during the 1950s, when he found himself opposing the country’s repressive mores. Increasingly, he said, he was engaged in “less of an exploration and more of an occupation of territories I reconnoitered years ago.”
“What happens is you become the hat on your own head,” he said. “You’re not having the pleasure of enjoying your own mind the way you used to when you were young, but you have the product of your mind to work with. You know, I ran into Henry Kissinger years ago, and I asked him if he enjoyed the intellectual stimulation of the work, and he said in effect: ‘I am working with the ideas that I formed at Harvard years ago. I haven’t had a real idea since I’ve been on this; I just work with the old ideas.’ I certainly know what he means now — I think there are just so many ideas you can have in your life, and once you have them, you have to develop them.”
Click to read more

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *