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An interview with / biography of Norman Mailer. A concise summary of the man, his life, and works in the mid Sixties. It captures many facets of his persona.
Some quotes that caught my eye
"Let me tell you fel-la, all my activities bear investigation." pg 98.
"I don't know in the heart of me, if we're is a good nation or an evil nation" pg 98.
"I lost any central purchase on the right to say what is happening. ... I destroyed forever the possibility of being the <i>Jeremiah</i> of our time." pg 100.
"As silly and stupid as society is, it does take care of you. The awful thing about Bellevue was it that wasn't awful. The horrors weren't that horrible. If it had been a Dickensian hell hole, I'd have come out stronger than ever, but I came out prematurely temperate." pg 100.
"It's as if he really let go of something. ... A great deal of the sweetness came back." - Barbara, pg 100.
"It's like being transferred to another country that's nicer and younger. Everyone has a certain natural comprehension of each other. Let's just say, I was delivered from bourgeois existence for three weeks." pg 100.
[T]he whole novel (<i>An American Dream</i>) is a series of dares taken, even at the expense of ordinary credulity with its total melodrama, or of shocking sedate literary taste with its steamy imagery that is at once both sensual and miragy. pg 102.
" I just think I have a different way of looking at things. Its not shocking to me. I think it'll eventually be recognized [that dreadful word] 'healthy.'" pg 102.
"He was a brave soldier but not a good one." - Gwaltney, pg 109.
"Success [was] a lobotomy to my past." pg 110.
"[T]he Progressive Party as an institution was almost as stupid as the army." pg 111.
"[H]e's stopped being concerned about being a writer, and became much more concerned about being a bringer of truth." -- Wolf (on NM in 1951 when he met Adele) pg 111.
"What he wanted at the time [<i>The Deer Park</i> was published] was a big explosion that would make the scene. He felt that if you just pressed the right button, all these people would come up from the underground." -- Wolf, pg 112.
"There is nothing more frustrating than trying to prove that you are sane. The more you try to present yourself as rational, calm, the more divorced you supposedly are from your act. The more alienated, and therefore the more insane." pg 112.
"To be good, and then to be left the impression one is bad, is the tragedy of life." pg.115.
"If its a question of broadening the road or saving the trees, I'm for saving the trees." pg. 117.
"After all these years, I still don't know which is more important sexually, the orgasm or the family, I know God and the devil are on opposite sides in this, I just don't know which side is which." pg. 117.

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