Covers the 1996 political conventions in the summer. His report on them appears in the November issue of George. He then covers the campaigns of Senator Dole and President Clinton in the fall.

Lucids & Mailers 1996

in Days | 32 Words


Statement on John Dos Passos. In “John Dos Passos: A Centennial Commemoration.” In Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook: 1996, edited by Samuel W. Bruce and L. Kay Webster, 173. Detroit: Bruccoli Clark Lay- man, Gale Research. In 44 words Mailer praises Dos Passos’s novel U.S.A. as the “most successful portrait of America in the first half of the twentieth century.”


“War of the Oxymorons.” George, November, 128-39, 164, 166, 168-70, 172-73. Mailer’s first appearance in George. Nonfiction narrative on the Republican and Democratic conventions of 1996. Rpt: Observer Life (London), 10 November, 6-7, 9-10, 12, 14-15, 17-18, 20-21, 23-24; 98.7 (partial), complete in 13.1. See 76.5, 97.1.


Comment on William Burroughs. In With William Burroughs: A Report from the Bunker, by Victor Bockris, xxii. Revised edition. New York: St. Martin’s, November. Brief approving comment by Mailer on Burroughs. The first edition (New York: Seaver Books, distributed by Grove Press, 1981) was not examined. See 62.24, 65.1, 65.13, 81.21, 92.12, 98.14a.


Statement on F. Scott Fitzgerald. In F. Scott Fitzgerald: 24 September 1996 Centenary Celebration, edited by Matthew J. Bruccoli, 34. Columbia, S.C.: Thomas Cooper Library, University of South Carolina, 24 September. Mailer and 26 other writers, including Margaret Atwood, Vance Bourjaily, Don DeLillo, James Dickey, Annie Dillard, William Maxwell, Budd Schulberg and Tony Tanner contributed statements on the man and the work in this tribute, limited to 750 softcover presentation copies. Mailer’s full statement:

What would any of us have been without Fitzgerald? A little less, for certain. Literary pleasures of the most special sort would have been withheld, and some of his errors in life, God bless him, would soon have been ours.


“Searching for Deliverance.” Esquire, August, 54-61, 118-27. Slugged on the cover as “Norman Mailer: Armies of the Right.” Essay-interview with Patrick J. Buchanan. Long, thoughtful discussion of the populist roots of the Right and Left and the possibilities of an alliance between factions of both against corporate excess and big government. See 68.8.



“Mailer and Me.” Memoir by Barry Leeds. Connecticut Review 18 (spring), 5-12. A long-time Mailer scholar remembers his meetings with Mailer over 30 years, and quotes from their wide-ranging conversations and correspondence. Rpt: A Moveable Beast: Scenes from My Life. By Barry Leeds. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse, 2014. Rpt: Norman Mailer Publication.


“About Picasso.” Interview by Peter DePree. Bloomsbury Review, March-April, 3, 10-11. Discussion of Mailer’s sources, his knowledge of painters and modern art, Picasso’s sexuality and other matters related to Portrait of Picasso as a Young Man (95.38). Accompanied by 96.2 and DePree’s positive review of 95.38.


“Oswald’s Ghost: An Interview with Norman Mailer.” By Peter DePree. Bloomsbury Review, March-April, 3, 10. Mailer reveals who he was with when he first heard J.F.K. had been shot (Norman Podhoretz), and who he was with when he heard Lee Harvey Oswald had been shot (George Plimpton), and his reactions on both occasions. Accompanied by 96.3.


[The Flea Market]. Pharaon (Paris), March-April, 3. In 335 words, Mailer extols the virtues of the flea market over the shopping mall in this French art and antique magazine.