“Mailer: At Age 75, Lauded Author Mourns That Marvelous Madness.” Article-interview by Hillel Italie, Associated Press. (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.) Times-Leader, 5 July, Sec. G, p. 5. Brief comments by Mailer on the writing life in a 4 May Brooklyn interview in connection with the publication of 98.7.
“The Great American Writer.” Article-interview by Hillel Italie. AP wire story, Chicago Tribune, 5 July, 3C. Mailer speaks of the pleasure and perils of the literary life and bemoans his lack of prescience: “All the things I wrote against I feel like I have lost. The corporation has taken over, and the computer has taken over.” He also comments on the recently published The Time of Our Time (98. 7).
“Mailer’s Gut Reaction.” Squib in New 29 June-6 July, 19. Mailer is quoted about hitting New Republic publisher, Marty Peretz in the stomach after The Gospel According to the Son (97.13) was panned in his magazine: “He came up and smiled at me, so I punch him in the stomach.” Peretz said Mailer’s punches were “flabby.” Mailer retorted: “Actually I didn’t hit him that hard purposely, because he’s not a fighter.” See 65.15.
“In Prose, in Person, Mailer’s Still the Tough Guy.” Interview by Susan Salter Reynolds. New Hampshire Sunday News, 7 June, Sec. E, p. 4. Reynolds’s piece, in which Mailer recalls his mother and her family loyalty, appeared first in the Los Angeles Times (98.11b).
“In Prose or in Person, Still the Tough Guy.” Interview with Susan Salter Reynolds. Los Angeles Times, 27 May, E1. Mailer discusses his mother’s “blind loyalty” to him: “There was a sense that you had to fight through her enveloping arms of love in order to do anything on your own.” Speaking of his father, he said: “I’m a huge believer in the continuation of dreams over generations, in the gene stream . . . My father used to write beautiful letters, almost Jamesian. He dreamed of being a writer but between avoiding the Feds on one hand and the mafia on the other . . . .” He also states that he is now ready, after seven years, to write the sequel to Harlot’s Ghost (91.26). “There’s no sense writing a second volume if it’s not as good; it’s like a broken promise. I think I know how to do it.”
“A Step in Time with Norman Mailer.” Article-interview by Hedy Weiss. Chicago Sun-Times, 24 May, 1, 14. In this longish piece, Mailer talks about his time in the army, and his sensibility as a young man: “Like most Americans, I was formed without a deep cultural tradition, but with an innocence and optimism that is lacking in Europeans.” Recalling the 1960s, he said that the social revolution of that decade was not truly revolutionary: “It was a middle-class revolution, inspired primarily by resistance to the Vietnam War.” It was “always a bit provisional” and grew out of “the genuine outrage of youth . . . But, God, the ’60s were exciting.”
“Fine Distinctions: Norman Mailer on Fiction, Non-Fiction and the Differences between Them.” Interview by Elizabeth Taylor. Chicago Tribune, 24 May, Sec. 14 (“Books”), p. 3. Besides discussing fiction and nonfiction, Mailer comments on John Dos Passos, James T. Farrell and the organizational scheme for 98.7.
The Talk of the Town: “Ink: Two Fighting Legends Reminisce and Ruminate over the Cheese Puffs.” Column by Lillian Ross. New Yorker, 18 May, 31. Ross reports on the publication party for The Time of Our Time (98.7) at the Rainbow Room/Pegasus Suite in Rockefeller Center, New York, including Mailer’s conversation with Muhammad Ali, who attended. Mailer was accompanied by his wife Norris, and eight of his nine children.
“Mailer Vigor, Viagra-fee.” Snippet about the publication party for The Time of Our Time (98.7). By Neal Travis. New York Post, 8 May. Reports on a conversation NM had with José Torres at the event about Viagra. “Real Men Don’t Take Viagra,” Mailer said with a twinkle in his eye.
“The Great American Author.” Article-interview by Steve Horowitz. Icon (Iowa City), 7 May, 11. Responding to telephone questions about the New Journalism and putting himself in his essays, Mailer said, “If you don’t put yourself in the essay, then you’re exhibiting an unseemly arrogance because you’re pretending to be objective about what you’re talking about, as if you’re some disembodied voice.” Asked about his religious leanings, he said, “I don’t lean towards Christianity at all. I’m very interested in it and there are aspects of it I find exciting and aspects I find depressing.” He added: “I was Jewish and I’m still Jewish. I haven’t been in a synagogue in 20 years, but that’s neither here nor there. Being Jewish is a matter of having it in your pores.”