“Norman Mailer Asks Correction of Quote.” Article by unidentified writer. New York Times, 19 October, 49. Mailer corrects the report of what he said to Alan Lelchuk in 72.13.


“Mailer Criticizes American Politics.” Article by Jeanne Janes and Tom Richards. Daily Texan (University of Texas), 19 October, 1. Report on Mailer’s appearance at the University of Texas where he discussed the 1972 conventions and the Vietnam War.


“Mailer Finds Book Is No Advertisement for Himself.” Article by Eric Pace. New York Times, 18 October, 49, 93. Report on a meeting between Mailer and Alan Lelchuk at which Mailer complained about Lelchuk’s forthcoming novel, American Mischief, in which Norman Mailer is shot dead. See 72.15.


“Norman Mailer Talks Politics at Towson.” Article by Randi Henderson. (Baltimore) Sun, 9 October, Sec. B, p. 1. Report on Mailer’s appearance at Towson State University where he discussed the Women’s Liberation movement and St. George and the Godfather (72.17), which he said had not yet been released because “book publishers are all Democrats and distributors all Republicans.” See 72.19.


“Norman Mailer Speaks: Films vs. Plays.” Interview by Leticia Kent. Vogue, 1 September, 200, 202, 204. Mailer contrasts film and literature, reprising “A Course in Film-Making” (71.25), with additional comment on Andy Warhol as a filmmaker.


“The Evil in the Room.” Life, 28 July, 26-28, 30. Nonfiction narrative on the 10-13 July Democratic convention in Miami. Rpt: In a slightly revised form as “Portraits and Powers,” part 1 of St. George and the Godfather (72.17).


“Why Is the Moon So Boring.” Panel Discussion. National Observer, May, 22. Excerpts from a transcript of an NBC panel moderated by John Chancellor and Edwin Newman. Besides Mailer, the other panelists were Arthur C. Clarke, James Dickey and Rear Admiral Alan B. Shepard Jr. Mailer dominates the discussion of why the Apollo 11 mission failed to excite public imagination: “One of the reasons it didn’t is there was no attempt made to explore the sensuous properties of the moon.” See 71.1, 72.24, 73.1.


“God Bless Drinking in Public.” Article by Bill Beckett. Harvard Crimson, 20 April, 2. Longer (than 72.6), wittier report on Mailer’s appearance at a Harvard Advocate benefit, from the cocktail hour to the wee hours.


Existential Errands. Boston: Little, Brown, 17 April; Sevenoaks, Kent: New English Library, August 1982. Miscellany, 365 pp., $7.95.

The British edition combines 72.7 with The Short Fiction of Norman Mailer (67.11) under the title The Essential Mailer (82.19).

Existential Errands (1972)

Dedication: “To Barbara, to Susan, to Adeline, and to Al.” Rpt: 98.7 (partial).


This collection covers pieces written almost entirely in the last five years, a period in which The Deer Park as a play [67.13] was given its last draft and then produced, Why Are We in Vietnam? [67.15] was written and then The Armies of the Night [68.8], Miami and the Siege of Chicago [68.25], Of a Fire on the Moon [71.1] and The Prisoner of Sex [71.20]. Three movies [Wild 90, Beyond the Law and Maidstone] were also made. So it is a period when, with every thought of beginning a certain big novel which had been promised for a long time, the moot desire to have one’s immediate say on contemporary matters kept diverting the novelistic impulse into journalism. (72.7)

Of the six books named above all but The Deer Park: A Play were nominated for a National Book Award in four different categories. The Armies of the Night won for arts and letters, and a Pulitzer Prize in general nonfiction as well.


“Drunken Mailer Amuses Full House.” Article by David G. Hoffman. Harvard Crimson, 15 April, pp. 1, 7. Brief report on Mailer’s appearance at a Harvard Advocate benefit which included a showing of excerpts from his films. According to Hoffman, Mailer displayed “magnetic charisma” during his talk, which included this comment: “I don’t know what I’m going to say next, but whatever I say, it will have my full heart behind it.” See 72.8.