Sunday, November 11, 2007

Uber-novelist Norman Mailer Dead at 84



Like many another vain, empty, and bullying body of our time, I have been running for President these last ten years in the privacy of my mind, and it occurs to me that I am less close now than when I began. Defeat has left my nature divided, my sense of timing is eccentric, and I contain within myself the bitter exhaustions of an old man, and the cocky arguments of a bright boy. So I am everything by my proper age of thirty-six, and anger has brought me to the edge of the brutal.

So went the late and great Norman Mailer after being rejected by eight publishing houses following a severe drop in popularity after the thundering success of his The Naked and the Dead.


Rejection builds character, they say, and he finally came out with a beautiful autobiography, which he titled
Advertisements for Myself. Advertisements outsold just about everybody.

Oh to have that kind of panache and skill.

Well, the lucky world has no shortage of material, most of it supplied by Mailer himself.
He was his own heroic character, larger than life, living life large. There is certainly his Armies of the Night to prove it.

Following Mr. Mailer's career, I too wanted to fail grandly, I too wanted to finally come out with "Advertisements for Myself" to vindicate myself, but all I have to show for it are my poor blogs.

So much trouble with my actual novels.

"The day of the novelist is over," Mr. Mailer was supposed to have said before he died. The appetite for novels is gone? It's over?

But Mailer is not over. Not by a long shot.

Novelist, journalist, pamphleteer, clown, you have it all in Norman.

He will live forever.

20 comments:

Shesawriter said...

Gone but never, EVER forgotten.

ivn@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Tanya.

He was a major influence for my generation. I grew up in war, but did not fight in it. Mailer did.

Josie said...

He definitely was an interesting and colorful person. He was a teeny bit too full of his own self-importance, though.

What, exactly, is a pamphleteer?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Josie,

You are right.
He had an enormous ego, but then, I suppose, he had a lot to be egotistical about.

Pamphleteer?
Somebody who really likes Sienna's blog, out of Australia. I know I do. I like Pam. :)

Voltaire was a pamphleteer, a spreader of pamphlets, against the Church and the King of France...Only thing I have in common with volaire (Francois -Marie- Arouet) is that I used to spread pamphlets too.
My Main Street WhizBang newspaper that I used to print here, was a kind of pamphlet...I'd certainly be out in the streets flogging that underground rag. Also my political pamphlets.
It was fun to have been a pamphleteer.

the walking man said...

My kinda guy, but we all haven't gone over to political correctness just as he never did.

"Ivan gets his groove back" can't wait for the movie version.

Peace

mark

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hey dude!

benjibopper said...

RIP doesn't seem to apply. Rage on, more like it. How could anyone with a modicum of business sense reject Norman Mailer?

Josie said...

Omigosh, Ivan...!!! Thanks for reminding me. I have been so busy at work, I haven't had time to scan your newspaper. I will do it, ASAP. *Gosh* I'm so sorry.

BTO - "Working' overtime - workout!"

*sigh*

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Benji,
I guess the fault may have been with Mr. Mailer's book, The Deer Park.
When it finally did come out through Putnams, critics used such words as "Crummy", "Botch", "A bunch of bums."
Mr. Mailer then took out an ad and printed all the reviews just for hellery. There was the same response to his third novel, "Barbary Shore."
He finally attained critical success with his journalism--National Book Award-- and eventually with another novel, The Executioner's Song.

Talk about believing in yourself!

And we over here smart over a mere rejection.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks Josie.

It wasn't a right-away project.
We are all a bit overworked here. I for one,am under the weather these days. Dental problems and a touch of flu.
My intention was to sort of do a Norman Mailer and reprint my own "Advertistements"--stuff from the past to justify all my pretensions. Heh.

TomCat said...

He is indeed a great loss. Thank goodness he left us such a wonderful body of work from which to remember him.

Shesawriter said...

He had such a weathered, lived in face. You look into his eyes and know he's really *lived* every second of every day God gave him on earth. His writing is a testament to this.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Yes, Tomcat. He left a tremeondous body of work. And he was somehow prescient. His Armies of the Night could be Washington today and not Washington forty years ago.
Hey, you got still another new logo.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Tanya,

Yep, the guy had really experienced pretty well everything in his 84 years.
I guess the only thing I have in common with the great man that I too am a little crazy around the eyes. :)

Sienna said...

Pamphleteer...LOL! so I make French men cry...

Norman gone, I missed that...well may he rest in peace.

Amazing, I have his books on my shelf, I was just barely a kid/teenager when I read Executioner's Song, it was so powerful (bloody scary) and I could not put it down, impossible to put the book down. Had to read the rest of his books.

Ivan he is next to you on the bookshelf...to me; he wrote with force, you (to me) write from anguish...he was meticulous in E.S, it was chilling to read, to read Light Over Newmarket was gut wrenching, if you had ever meant to transfer the raw turmoil emotion of your book across to it's reader...well!

Do people understand the affect different styles of writing have do you think? Do they get the best part of Writers?

(I haven't stopped flagging down the producers and book people on it either, or Black Icon), some have written back and said they love your book but are too busy and refer me onto other obscures...it's steady progress, I am going to try the Ten Canoes people...that guy is special, all class.

Some of Norman's quotes are just as amazing!

**Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.**
Norman Mailer

Pam-phhh-Le-Tear

Sienna said...

I forgot these: (great photo of him btw Ivan)

**I'm hostile to men, I'm hostile to women, I'm hostile to cats, to poor cockroaches, I'm afraid of horses.**

**The Irish are the only men who know how to cry for the dirty polluted blood of all the world.**

(Norman Mailer)



Pam

Ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Wow, Pam,
Just mentioning me and Norman in the same sentence gives me a thrill.
He has always been my favourite, though my artist friends in a Mexican colony would say, "So what? Everybody likes Mailer."

I am having marginal luck here with an unemployed theatre director who is working on a stage version (I think) of my novella, "The Fire in Bradford."
Says he is "marking it up"..."Needs work. We all do."

Whoops!
I hope the fault is in the play version, not the book version of my novella.
Still, if my Bradfor book "needs work", I'll have to take it to heart.
The theatre director did once, in London, produce "Look Back in Anger", by then-Angry Young Man John Osbourne (Not Ozzy Osbourne. Heh)...So he knows his stuff...But then, lately, he's just working the front doors of theatres...I don't think Canada has been good to him.

Ellee said...

Yes, gone, but never forgotten, a true giant of his generation.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Hello, Ellee
Yes, Mailer was a giant.
I have used his Advertisements for Myself almost as a road map, especially the short stories he had inserted therein.
Speaking of advertisments, I was especially taken by the motto you have on your blog:

Elle Seymour Real Estate Broker

My Creed

I believe integrity is not an option in life or business;
I believe kindness belongs in the workplace;
I believe greatness is achievable by serving others
well;
I believe working together as a team is better than an
individual effort;
I believe prestige doesnt mean pretentious;
I believe in being easy to work with;
I believe in taking responsibility;
I believe in trusting one another;
I believe I can make a difference;
I believe buying and selling real estate can be a good experience;
I believe everyone can win;
I believe Santa Ynez Valley is a better place to live;
I believe Prestige Properties is a better place to do business;
I believe different can be better;
Come see for yourself;
Let me show you how I work.
Elle Seymour
June 9, 2001







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