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By David L. Ulin and David L. Ulin,Los Angeles Times | October 21, 2007
Earlier this year, at a Writers Bloc event in Beverly Hills, Calif., Norman Mailer acknowledged that he believed in God. This belief, he explained, was qualified; his vision of the deity was as one who is fallible, far from omnipotent, less a Supreme Being than a supreme artist of a kind. Noting that his own creations had often gotten the best of him, Mailer said he didn't see why the same might not be true of God. This was a classic Mailer performance - contrarian, contradictory, brilliant and somehow unsatisfying.
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By David L. Ulin | November 12, 2007
I met Norman Mailer in the early 1990s, during a party at the New York Athletic Club. The party was for Mailer's friend, Richard Stratton, who had a novel out, and Mailer was the host, holding court at the bar, a flushed grin on his face. Knowing almost no one, I kept to the corners, avoiding Mailer altogether. Still, I couldn't help looking at him periodically, and at one point, I caught his eye. For a moment, the two of us watched each other, until I turned away. I hadn't taken more than a step or two, though, when I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there was Mailer, hand extended, having come over to introduce himself.
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FEATURES
By David L. Ulin | November 12, 2007
I met Norman Mailer in the early 1990s, during a party at the New York Athletic Club. The party was for Mailer's friend, Richard Stratton, who had a novel out, and Mailer was the host, holding court at the bar, a flushed grin on his face. Knowing almost no one, I kept to the corners, avoiding Mailer altogether. Still, I couldn't help looking at him periodically, and at one point, I caught his eye. For a moment, the two of us watched each other, until I turned away. I hadn't taken more than a step or two, though, when I felt a tap on my shoulder, and there was Mailer, hand extended, having come over to introduce himself.
NEWS
By Elaine Woo and Elaine Woo,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 11, 2007
Norman Mailer, the pugnacious two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who jabbed and bobbed his way through an extraordinary career as one of the most original and audacious voices in postwar American letters, died yesterday. He was 84. Beset by serious health problems that required heart bypass surgery in 2005 and hospitalizations for lung problems this fall, Mailer died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said his literary executor, J. Michael Lennon. Mailer, called "a great and obsessed stylist" by Joan Didion, wrote nearly 50 books that zigzagged among genres, including fiction, biography, history, essays and highly personal journalism.
NEWS
By Elaine Woo and Elaine Woo,LOS ANGELES TIMES | November 11, 2007
Norman Mailer, the pugnacious two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who jabbed and bobbed his way through an extraordinary career as one of the most original and audacious voices in postwar American letters, died yesterday. He was 84. Beset by serious health problems that required heart bypass surgery in 2005 and hospitalizations for lung problems this fall, Mailer died of acute renal failure at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, said his literary executor, J. Michael Lennon. Mailer, called "a great and obsessed stylist" by Joan Didion, wrote nearly 50 books that zigzagged among genres, including fiction, biography, history, essays and highly personal journalism.
FEATURES
By Tim Warren and Tim Warren,Sun Book Editor | September 29, 1991
New York -- The hipster is a geezer now.Remember all those pictures of Norman Mailer in the 1950s and '60s? He was the archetypal hep cat -- drink and cigarette inhand at endless New York literary parties, or boxing with former lightweight champion Jose Torres, or throwing himself into the hurly-burly of New York mayoral politics and anti-war demonstrations. He was expressing the "psychopath in oneself," the memorable phrase from his essay "The White Negro," which urged one and all to live the existential and rebellious life of the "hipster."
FEATURES
By Mark Feeney and Mark Feeney,Boston Globe | July 24, 1994
After Madonna paid her now-celebrated visit to David Letterman last spring, Norman Mailer bumped into Liz Smith at a party. Ever the gentleman, he rose to the defense of Dave's guest, whose appearance was otherwise being universally trashed. Mailer's remark ran in Smith's gossip column. Someone at Esquire saw it . . . and, well, it had to happen sooner or later: '60s sex meets '80s sex in a '90s magazine. "Mailer on Madonna," there they are, two alliterative names joined by the skimpiest of prepositions sitting bold as brass on the cover, right above Madonna in leather underwear (ho-hum)
NEWS
By Mike Adams | September 22, 1996
THE YEAR OF our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Fifty Seven. Cold War. Atomic jitters. Man has become Death, the destroyer of worlds and the squares are sipping champagne music from Lawrence Welk's accordion.Across the land, pulpits fulminate with warnings about communism, Armageddon and race music. The Beat Generation on the road with Jack Kerouac, exploring the Coney Island in Lawrence Ferlinghetti's mind and/or digging blue notes in smoke-filled clubs in New York and Frisco.It was the year that Norman Mailer wrote "The White Negro," an essay about black hipsters and their white imitators.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | January 19, 2003
I was a student when I read Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead. I don't remember how old I was, though surely the book had been out for some years. I probably read it for the wrong reasons. It was most talked about for its threshold-breaking use of barracks-room expletives -- misspelled as they were. Since then, I have been regularly aware of Mailer, though I have read far less than all of the 31 previous books listed in his latest, The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (Random House, 320 pages, $25.95)
FEATURES
By Arthur Hirsch and Arthur Hirsch,SUN STAFF | May 5, 1997
Imagine you wake up one morning with this fabulous idea. You decide that you will rewrite the New Testament. Yes, you will rewrite the Gospels from the perspective of Jesus Christ.What a brilliant stroke. Memoirs are hot these days, especially celebrity memoirs. This would be a celebrity memoir to beat all others, if only for sheer audacity: "The Gospel According to the Son."Wow.There's just one problem. You are not Norman Mailer. You are you. More precisely, a buffoon with a wacky idea and too much free time.
NEWS
By David L. Ulin and David L. Ulin,Los Angeles Times | October 21, 2007
Earlier this year, at a Writers Bloc event in Beverly Hills, Calif., Norman Mailer acknowledged that he believed in God. This belief, he explained, was qualified; his vision of the deity was as one who is fallible, far from omnipotent, less a Supreme Being than a supreme artist of a kind. Noting that his own creations had often gotten the best of him, Mailer said he didn't see why the same might not be true of God. This was a classic Mailer performance - contrarian, contradictory, brilliant and somehow unsatisfying.
NEWS
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC | August 12, 2007
Whether you regard him as the chief provocateur or merely the "clown prince" of America's documentary revolution, Michael Moore has made the genre more direct, personal and aggressively entertaining -- primarily by placing himself at the center of his movies, as a humorous character and commentator. While Moore has been dominating the headlines, other documentarians have been establishing their own beachheads on different fronts. They resist playing to the cheap seats or sacrificing substance to polemic.
NEWS
By Ron Hansen and Ron Hansen,Los Angeles Times | January 28, 2007
The Castle in the Forest Norman Mailer Random House / 478 pages / $27.95 Ever since folklorist Lewis Spence published his Occult Causes of the Present War in 1940, historians have noted the Nazi hierarchy's loony dependence on runes, mysticism, esoteric rituals, worship of the war god Odin and even Satanism. High officials in the party justified eugenics and genocide with crackpot theories such as "theozoology," which maintained that interstellar deities electrically sired the so-called Aryan people while ethnically inferior races were the progeny of humans who had consorted with apes.
NEWS
By JANET MASLIN and JANET MASLIN,THE NEW YORK TIMES | December 11, 2005
The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight Marc Weingarten Crown / 325 pages In The Gang That Wouldn't Write Straight, his survey of what used to warrant the name New Journalism, Marc Weingarten demonstrates two things clearly. The first: There is no substitute for reading the classics of this genre firsthand. The second: The writers who are commonly lumped together in this category didn't have that much in common after all. "Was it a movement?" Weingarten asks about the explosion of dramatically personal nonfiction that arose in the 1960s and broke all the old rules.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Beth Kephart and Beth Kephart,Special to the Sun | June 13, 2004
We writers have been too full of our own naked need of late. There is too much quaver in our voices when we speak, too much desperation when we survey our lives with books. Indignant, we parade our indignities. Deflated, we clamor to be thought of as Someone. We're writers, we say. We're writers. As if there were entitlement in that. On the Internet, in newspapers, in a fury of notes to one another, we writers write of glories that have passed us by and critics who misunderstand us and ersatz readers who will not do what readers are supposed to do, which is to buy the kind of books we write, and not just once, but often.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Pakenham | January 19, 2003
I was a student when I read Norman Mailer's The Naked and the Dead. I don't remember how old I was, though surely the book had been out for some years. I probably read it for the wrong reasons. It was most talked about for its threshold-breaking use of barracks-room expletives -- misspelled as they were. Since then, I have been regularly aware of Mailer, though I have read far less than all of the 31 previous books listed in his latest, The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing (Random House, 320 pages, $25.95)
NEWS
By Don Aucoin and Don Aucoin,BOSTON GLOBE | October 20, 1996
Norman Mailer is such a mythic figure by now that it can be a distracting experience to actually read him.Mind you, it's a small price to pay for having this 73-year-old nonpareil still alive (very) and kicking (hard). But while making my way through Mailer's typically sprawling cover story on Bill Clinton and Bob Dole for the November George magazine, I couldn't shake the suspicion that posterity will reckon the author more important than his subjects. It's as if a mid-19th-century magazine had assigned Charles Dickens to write an essay on James Polk.
NEWS
By Julie Klavens and Julie Klavens,SUN STAFF | December 9, 2001
Even people whose visions of the holiday season owe more to Norman Mailer than to Norman Rockwell will admit - albeit grudgingly - to an iota of pleasurable anticipation as the holidays approach. Kitchen counters dusted with flour from baking, the snapping fresh scent of pine, the tang of wintry air on one's face: The images might be hackneyed but are evocative nonetheless. For those who continue to look for and/or work toward a little Currier and Ives (or an updated version thereof), we offer a few props to help set the stage for a memorable holiday season.
NEWS
By Julie Klavens and Julie Klavens,SUN STAFF | December 9, 2001
Even people whose visions of the holiday season owe more to Norman Mailer than to Norman Rockwell will admit - albeit grudgingly - to an iota of pleasurable anticipation as the holidays approach. Kitchen counters dusted with flour from baking, the snapping fresh scent of pine, the tang of wintry air on one's face: The images might be hackneyed but are evocative nonetheless. For those who continue to look for and/or work toward a little Currier and Ives (or an updated version thereof), we offer a few props to help set the stage for a memorable holiday season.
ENTERTAINMENT
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Sun Television Critic | December 3, 2000
NEW YORK -- It is 9:30 a.m. on what looks to be a fine fall day in the life of Susan Lacy, the 51-year-old creator and executive producer of the PBS TV series "American Masters." The sun is shining brightly on her first day back at work after a two-week vacation at Sag Harbor, Maine. She has the relaxed, almost serene, glow of someone who thoroughly enjoyed her holiday. There's a huge stack of folders and papers sitting on her desk, but they are flanked by a vase of spectacular lavender flowers and a shiny, gold Emmy statue recently awarded to "American Masters" as the Best Non-Fiction Series on television for the second straight year.
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