“Stormin’ Norman Mailer.” Article by Maureen Rice. A & L Magazine (Ardmore, PA), 6 June, 6-7. Thin account of Mailer’s visit and speech at Haverford School, with a few quotes and several errors. Mailer explains for the umpteenth time one of his favorite expressions: “I’m an old club fighter; I get mad when you miss,” noting that when someone nails a club fighter with a good punch, he wakes up and begins to fight in earnest.
“One Helluva Guy.” Article-interview by Ginny Dougary. (London) Times 2 magazine, 2 June, 3-7. Long, wide-ranging and revealing piece full of thoughtful exchanges. For example, when Dougary asks Mailer if he has succeeded in delivering on his early promise, he replies,
Well, you never reach the mark that you set for yourself. The question is do you get near enough to the mark not to wince when you figure out what you’ve done with your life? And I would answer affirmatively. Yes, I think I got near enough. But did I do it all? No, I made more promises than I kept.
“Advertisement for Himself.” Snippet by Jennifer Greenstein. Brill’s Content, April, 40. Mailer provided a blurb for a book, Passionate Sex: Discover the Special Power in You, by Leslie Aldridge Westoff, ex-wife of Mailer’s friend John W. Aldridge. Mailer says in his blurb that he has not read her book, but “if the author delivers one-tenth of what is promised in the title, the book will be the bargain of the year.” Mailer accompanied the blurb with a note to Westoff stating that her publisher can print it or reject it but “no negotiations, please.”
Letter to the Editor. New York Times, 22 March. In this brief letter, Mailer comments on Sen. Robert Byrd’s 20 March op-ed piece in the Times, noting that “the United States and NATO stepped into the trap that Mr. Milosevic had set” when it began its 78-day bombing campaign.
Letter to the Editor. “Just the Factoids.” New York Times, 9 January. Mailer writes to complain about inaccuracies in Mary Dearborn’s Mailer: A Biography (99.2) that he found repeated in a review of the biography in the 19 December 1999 New York Times review by Caleb Crain. He particularly objected to Dearborn saying that he had not read the works of Karl Marx, and states that he “spent nine months in the winter, spring and summer of 1948-49 reading and brooding over Das Kapital.” He also states that he did not, contrary to her biography, share his Provincetown home with Roy Cohn, who lived next door, and attributes this error to Peter Manso, who he characterized as “a bilious ex-friend.” He chastises Crain for linking himself “uncritically to the free-floating authority of a casual biographer looking for ‘biffs’ and ‘whams’ and ‘pows.’” See 02.8.