Modern Architecture

DID YOU KNOW? Perhaps the rarest of Mailer publications is his rebuttal to the response of a major architect, Vincent Scully, to Mailer’s August 1963 “Big Bite” column in Esquire. In that column, Mailer attacks modern architecture for being unimaginative, ugly and totalitarian: “The essence of totalitarianism is that it beheads. It beheads individuality, variety, dissent, […]

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Works and Days

DID YOU KNOW? Mike and his wife Donna published a comprehensive annotated bibliography listing every book, essay, poem, journalistic report, letter to the editor, and so on, published by Mailer from 1941-1998. Titled Norman Mailer: Works and Days, it has 1100 entries. It was selected by Choice Magazine as “an outstanding scholarly title” in 2001.

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Don Juan in Hell

DID YOU KNOW? In the fall of 2002 Mailer directed a one-night staged reading of Don Juan in Hell in Provincetown, MA. He played Don Juan, his wife Norris Church Mailer played his wife Dona Ana, Mike Lennon was her father, the Commodore, and Vidal played the Devil. He wore a jacket with a wine-red vest and […]

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Quiet

DID YOU KNOW? Asked by Parade Magazine how he was seen by his high school classmates, he answered, “Quiet, studious and inconsequential.”

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Favorite Novels

DID YOU KNOW? Mailer’s all-time favorite novels were John Dos Passos’s U.S.A., a three-part chronicle of the country from the late 1890s to the 1930s, and Leo Tolstoy’s 1877 novel, Anna Karenina, often called the greatest realistic novel ever written.

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Never Amount to Anything

DID YOU KNOW? In 1946 when Mailer was writing The Naked and the Dead, he lived for a time with his parents at 102 Pierrepont Street, a brownstone apartment building in Brooklyn Heights. Arthur Miller lived in the same building where he was writing Death of a Salesman. When Miller and Mailer would bump into each other […]

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First Appearance

DID YOU KNOW? Mailer’s first appearance in a book was the publication of his novella A Calculus at Heaven, in a 1944 anthology, Cross-Section: A Collection of New American Writing, where it appeared with selections by Richard Wright, Arthur Miller, Jane Bowles, Shirley Jackson and Ralph Ellison. His second book appearance was the reprinting of his college […]

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Francis X. Pope

DID YOU KNOW? In 1968, Mailer played the role of Francis X. Pope, a police lieutenant, in his experimental film, Beyond the Law. Donn Pennebaker filmed the action, done without a script over two nights in a Brooklyn warehouse. George Plimpton played the mayor of New York in the film.

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Huysmans and Mailer

DID YOU KNOW? In 1976, Mailer published a screenplay based on Joris-Karl Huysmans’ novel of decadence and Satanism, Là-Bas (or “down there”). The English translation was published as The Damned. The protagonist, a novelist named Durtal, is researching the life of the 15th century nobleman and madman, Gillies de Rais, who killed scores of children and […]

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Mailer in Esquire

DID YOU KNOW? Esquire published more separate pieces, over 40, of Mailer’s work (fiction, essays, interviews, excerpts from forthcoming books) than any other publication. His first piece was a short story based on his experience as an army cook, “The Language of Men,” which appeared in the April 1953 issue. Excerpts from the following books appeared in Esquire: […]

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