Tag Archives: Norman Mailer

Incendiary prose

For my money, Norman Mailer’s famous World War II war novel "The Naked and the Dead" just plain stunk. I’m sorry I ever read it. I never read it a second time. I only remember the fashionable cynicism, and the probability that the author never saw combat or had any idea what it was like. Comes this essay reminding me, not only that Mailer’s book was perhaps the first popular literary assault on American military heroism, but that we have the pugnacious little squirt to thank for much more, including the rap generation and the media’s persistent glorification of violence.

Adios, Norman

I always thought loudmouth, pugnacious Mailer was a bore, and that was even before my beautiful but alcoholic and suicidal aunt told me she thought he was a genius. His "The Naked and the Dead" war novel was, uh, pretty awful. Like something a staff officer would cobble together about the combat he never saw. This piece sums NM up much better than I can, or would even want to. Adios, Norman. Now go fade to well-deserved obscurity.

Via Roger L. Simon