dirac, on Feb 15 2007, 02:11 PM, said:
The Guardian offers a digested read of Norman Mailer’s “The Castle in the Forest.” I certainly hope it’s not that bad but this sounds plausible, I fear. Has anyone read it yet?
Here's another I haven't had time to read, I have the book but have also not had time to get to it.
I'm a big fan of Mailer, who means to be infuriating. He can get away with all sorts of gaucheries and vulgarisms and hateful overt conceit, because he comes up with so many things nobody, including oneself, ever seems to think of articulating. I'm almost through with 'Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man' and thoroughly respect it, finding it literally transforming, as do I his much-maligned 'Marilyn'. He's an egomaniac, but so what? What genius isn't, it's just expressed in different forms of crudeness or seeming smoothness, or even false modesty? He can write real fiction and semi-fiction, which a lot of people who have gotten famous for either or both cannot
do. I recently read the old 'The Deer Park' and 'An American Dream' and thought they were both brilliant. I'm sure I will read the Hitler book without any interest in what fawning or hating critics think, because I'm happy enough to find all those nuggets of wisdom, of which there are always myriad with Mailer. He should get the Nobel Prize, definitely.
I'll mention that I only got through the 1st chapter of the fat new Pynchon novel, but I have not read PynchIn. I remember you posted it, so I got hold of a copy, but I found the writing unbearably and graceless, and it is the first book I've started in many years that I didn't finish--and even before that, I usually got past page 10.