Norman Mailer, lion of the American literary scene, dead today of kidney failure. Mailer was a frequent contributor to Harper’s. He marked a generation with writings that demonstrate wit and painful introspection. And now that Mailer has passed the time will come to reassess some of his widely panned works, particularly Ancient Evenings, which I expect to see reassessed as a masterpiece.
America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.
Norman Mailer, Advertisements for Myself, pt. 5, “Advertisement for ‘Games and Ends’” (1959).