1971

Preceded by three excerpts in Life, Of a Fire on the Moon is published on 11 January by Little, Brown, the first of eight books by Mailer to be published by this firm. It is later nominated for the National Book Award in the sciences category.

“The Prisoner of Sex” is published in the March Harper’s, which displeases the magazine’s owners and contributes to the resignation of its editor, Willie Morris.

Mailer (1971)

A staged reading of D.J., a one-act play based on Why Are We in Vietnam? is given in New York.

Maggie Alexandra born to Carol on 21 March.

On 30 April, takes part in a contentious and humorous discourse, “A Dialogue on Women’s Liberation” at Town Hall in New York City, along with Germaine Greer, Diana Trilling and others. Mailer says that his hair turned white that night. The evening forms the basis for Donn Pennebaker’s documentary film, “Town Bloody Hall,” which is Germaine Greer’s description of the evening.

The Prisoner of Sex, which contains Mailer’s brilliant 40-page reflection on D.H. Lawrence, is published in book form on 27 May, and nominated for the National Book Award in the arts and letters category.

On 8 September, Matthew Norris born to Barbara Norris, who Mailer will informally adopt after Mailer marries his mother in 1980.

“Maidstone” premieres at the Whitney Museum in New York City on 22 September, and is published as Maidstone: A Mystery in October. The Long Patrol: 25 Years of Writing from the Work of Norman Mailer, a 739-page anthology containing selections from all of Mailer’s major books to that year, edited by Robert F. Lucid, is published on 25 October. Lucid also edits the first collection of critical essays, Norman Mailer: The Man and His Work, published by Little, Brown.

On 2 December, he appears on the “Dick Cavett Show” with Janet Flanner and Gore Vidal, and via his acrimonious exchanges with Vidal (who compared Mailer to Charles Manson in an essay in the New York Review of Books), re-writes the rules of the television talk show when he attacks his host and fellow quests, and draws the audience into the fray.

in Days | 355 Words

71.33

The Colony. By John Bowers New York: E.P. Dutton, 1971. Memoir of James Jones’s writing colony in Illinois, including Mailer’s 1954 visit.

71.32

Untitled comment. In Attacks of Taste, edited by Evelyn B. Byrne and Otto M. Penzler, 29. New York: Gotham Book Mart. Limited edition of 500 copies. In response to the editors’ question about his adolescent reading, Mailer responded: “I’m afraid my favorite novels in high school were The Amateur Gentleman by Jeffrey Farnol and Rafael Sabatini’s Captain Blood.” This volume consists of the answers of writers to this question. See 79.30.

71.31

Introduction to Deaths for the Ladies (and Other Disasters). 5 pp., unnumbered. New York: New American Library, December, softcover. Mailer ends his introduction with a reprinting of the 30 March 1962 Time review of the first edition of Deaths for the Ladies (62.3), and his poetic response to it (62.8), followed by this concluding sentence: “Instead, the review in Time put iron into my heart again, and rage, and the feeling that the enemy was more alive than ever, and dirtier in the alley, and so one had to mend, and put on the armor, and go to war, go out to war again, and try to hew huge strokes with the only broadsword God ever gave you, a glimpse of something like Almighty prose.”

71.30a

People. Column in Time magazine, 20 December, 45. Squib about Vietnam War protest at St. John the Divine, attended by Mailer, Tennessee Williams, Bishop Paul Moore and Dotson Rader. Mailer called the event “a celebration. After all, this is the first time in my life that students, a peace movement, ever succeeded in shifting a major empire from its military aims.”

71.30

“Norman’s Phantasmagoria.” Review-interview by Jay Cocks. Time, 15 November, 97-98. Review of Maidstone (71.28) with interspersed comment from Mailer on its production and significance. See 68.1468.18, 68.28.

71.29

The Long Patrol: 25 Years of Writing from the Work of Norman Mailer, edited with an introduction by Robert F. Lucid. New York: World, 25 October, 739 pp., $15.

Selections from all of Mailer’s major books through Of a Fire on the Moon (71.1), with an important critical introduction and short introductions (containing publication details) to each selection. Lucid (and Mailer’s mother) created Mailer’s literary archive in the late 1960s. He was one of Mailer’s literary executors, and the authorized biographer until his death in 2006.

71.28

Maidstone: A Mystery. New York: New American Library, 1 October, softcover. Screenplay, 189 pp., $1.50.

Dedication: “To Ricky Leacock, Donn Pennebaker, Nick Proferes, Jim Desmond, To Jan Welt and Lana Jokel and to Buzz Farbar.”

Includes “A Combined Account of the Filming of Maidstone” drawn from accounts by Sally Beauman (68.17), J. Anthony Lukas (68.14) and James Toback (68.28); “A Course in Film-Making” (71.25); 12 pages of color photographs; a cast list and various notes on the film. The only differences between 71.25 and 71.28 is that “Film-Making” becomes “FilmMaking” in 71.28; and “I: On the Theory” is reordered in 71.28. Rpt: 71.25, 72.7, 82.19. See 68.16, 81.19, 84.1. See also Filmmakers Newsletter 4 (no. 11) which contains an account of the piece by Jan Welt and an interview with Rip Torn that comments on his famous fight with Norman T. Kingsley that concludes Maidstone.

Norman Mailer (1970)

71.27a

Letter to the editor. Time, 21 September. Mailer claims his remarks on Women’s Liberation were quoted out of context in the 7 September issue. He adds: “The ladies deserve to take over journalism.” Rpt: 14.3.

71.27

“My Mailer Problem.” Article by Germaine Greer. Esquire, September, 90-93, 214, 216. Still another account of “A Dialogue on Women’s Liberation” from the perspective of one of the participants. Many quotes from Mailer and a good deal of context from Greer. Mailer is parodied on the cover as King Kong holding Greer as Fay Wray in his hands, and inside as a vampirish boxer. Esquire later apologized for its treatment of Mailer. See 71.1671.20, 71.23, 77.14 and Covering the Sixties: George Lois, The Esquire Era, by George Lois. New York: Monacelli Press, 1996. Lois created the cover and reports the responses of Mailer and Esquire editor, Harold Hayes. Rpt: In Norman Mailer: Modern Critical Views, edited by Harold Bloom. New York: Chelsea House, 1986; and in Greer’s collection, The Madwoman’s Underclothes: Essays and Occasional Writings. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, September 1987.