2005

In April, Mailer sells his 500-cubic-foot archive, including approximately 50,000 of his letters, to the Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas, for $2.5 million. Later that month, he attends a conference at the University titled “Norman Mailer Takes on America.”

Mailer (2005)

On 8 September, Mailer undergoes a successful quadruple bypass operation at Mass General in Boston. On 16 November, he is awarded the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters by the National Book Foundation.

Norman Mailer’s Provincetown: The Wild West of the East, a pamphlet containing excerpts from his work about Provincetown, including his favorite poem, “The Harbors of the Moon,” is published by Provincetown Arts Press.

Norman Mailer (2005)

in Days | 104 Words

05.15

Norman Mailer’s Provincetown: The Wild West of the East, edited by J. Michael Lennon. Provincetown, MA: Provincetown Arts press. 12 pp. Limited edition. Contains five evocations of Provincetown from Mailer’s work, and Lennon’s introduction. Reprint.

05.14

Letter to Malcom Boyd. In In Times Like These: How We Pray, edited by Malcom Boyd. New York: Seabury Books, 2005. Rpt: SLNM.

05.13

You’ve Got Mailer.” Article by Don Graham. Texas Monthly, November, 94, 96, 105, 108. Overview of Mailer’s career with comments about the sale of his papers. Mailer is quoted, briefly, from his address to a press conference in Austin: Texas “has produced some of the bravest people and some of the most god-awful. In my mind, George W. Bush falls firmly in the second category.” See 05.505.6, 05.9, 05.12.

05.12

“Mailer’s Papers Come to Texas.” Article-interview by unidentified author. Ransom News (newsletter of the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, University of Texas) 13 (winter), 1. 8. Mailer explains why he sold his papers to Texas and what they might be used for in the future. See 05.305.6, 05.9, 05.13.

05.11

“God and Man and Mailer.” Letter to the editor. Nation 280, 15-22 August, 2. Mailer responds to several letters disagreeing with his comments on Sartre in 55.7.

05.10

“The Write Place.” Article-interview by Debbie Forman. Cape Cod View, 20 July, 21-25. Mailer looks back at his years in Provincetown, recalling that when he was in the army “I kept dreaming about coming back here. And I started ‘The Naked and the Dead’ in one of the [Crow’s Nest] cottages in North Truro.” He adds, “I started a great many books here. I’ve written more than two-thirds of many books here.” Norris Mailer is also interviewed in this piece. See 95.36, 05.10, 07.2.

05.9

“Norman Mailer: The Last Buccaneer Looks Back.” Article-interview by Douglas Brinkley. Rolling Stone, ns. 977/978, 30 June-14 July, 84, 85, 88, 90, 92, 94, 95, 162, 166. Retrospective Look at Mailer’s career by a professional biographer on the occasion of the sale of his papers. Mailer made negative, quasi-racist remarks about New York Times critic Michiko Kakutani in this interview that came back to haunt him. See 05.305.6, 05.12, 05.13.

05.8

God’s Chosen Envoy for America.” Blog entry. Huffington Post, 21 June. Mailer’s complete comment on the death of President Ronald Reagan’s death:

In the wake of all the fluvial funereal obsequies that the media attached to Ronald Reagan’s earthly departure, I felt obliged to remark that he had been the most overrated president in American history and the second most ignorant. Then I added — how could I not? — guess who is the most ignorant? Half the audience applauded; the other half were outraged and groaned in true patriotic pain. Since George W. is not only a horse’s ass, but vain and platitudinous to boot, it can hardly escape us that he is also serving (with all due inner incandescence) as God’s chosen envoy for America.