“Norman Mailer’s Eclectic Life, as Seen Through His Last Home.” Article-interview by Joseph Berger. New York Times, 2 May. A portrait of Mailer’s Brooklyn Heights apartment, with his son Michael giving a guided tour.
Mailer’s words are recalled by Michael. He said to him in his later years: “I could not have been the writer I am today and been more of a father to you.” Michael answered, “I’d take quality over quantity any day.”
“Mailer’s Final Legacy.” Article-interview by Sue Fox. Times (London), 8 August, 8. Memoir with quotes from Mailer in the hospital just before he died, and from John Buffalo Mailer, Norris Church Mailer, Lawrence Schiller and Dwayne Raymond, Mailer’s assistant.
“The Lion in Winter: Five Snapshots.” Article-interview by Andrew O’Hagan. New York Observer, 13 November. Four of the snapshots are accounts of meetings with Mailer—in Provincetown in 1997; London, 2002; Provincetown again in 2007; and at the New York Public Library, Mailer’s penultimate public appearance with Günter Grass, 28 July 2007. Asked if he feels superior to his younger self, Mailer said: “I just look at him and think what a fool he is . . . you’ve got to remain a fool at all costs.” He also tells O’Hagan that his favorite poem is Yeats’ “The Second coming”: “It gives me the prodigious disruption that has lived at the heart of the 20th century. There is something wrong, something unbalanced about this century; we all have a sense of unease about where the future is going.”
“Mailer Gets Hammered.” Article by Gerald Howard. New York Times Book Review, 26 August 2007, 27. Account of Mailer being interviewed at the Walter Reade Theater of Lincoln Center by Michael Chaiken, Kent Jones and J. Michael Lennon prior to a showing of Maidstone (71.28) on 22 July. It was Mailer’s last public appearance. Howard focuses on his impressions of the film, but does quote Mailer’s characterization of the role of film director as being “equivalent to being a general in a war in which no blood was shed.”
“Get Your Ass Off My Pillow.” Article-interview by Andrew O’Hagan. Harper’s Magazine, September, 22-24.
“Tough Guys Do God.” Article-interview by Sue Fox. Jewish Chronicle, 29 June, 25-26. Mailer comments on Jews and the Holocaust in this piece. He compares New York Jews to Berlin Jews before WWII: “The fact is the Jews of New York are in the same position as the wealthy Jews were in Berlin. We do have great control over press, publishing, the arts and department stores.” On the Holocaust: “I don’t think there is any explanation for the Holocaust without positing a devil, because I find the opposite to that philosophically odious and obscene. God was testing us? God was punishing us? Those are odious arguments.”
“The Pictures: Tough Guys.” Article-interview by Mark Singer. New Yorker, 21 May, 30-31. Account of a reunion of some of the cast and crew of Mailer’s 1987 film, Tough Guys Don’t Dance (84.17) at his Brooklyn apartment. Mailer says that his memory
for details of where something took place, when it happened, is very spotty. What I will remember is the emotional tone of a meeting. Facts you can always look up somewhere. If you’re writing a novel, you try to keep the navigator going. . . On a given day, if you take a wrong turn you can lose six months.
“Father, Son Share Stage.” Article by Laura T. Ryan. (Syracuse) Post-Standard, 11 May. Account of a 10 May reading by Mailer and his son John Buffalo at Syracuse University’s Crouse-Hinds Theater. Mailer attacked fundamentalism, saying that it “may well be the concept that destroys our world, our civilization.” He called human beings, “God’s reconnaissance into the nature of existence.”
“Ancient Evening.” Article by Andrew Hultkrans. ArtForum, 27 April. Account of Mailer receiving the Hadada Award from the Paris Review, presented by E.L Doctorow. Asked by editor Philip Gourevitch, to define a novel, Mailer said: “A Novel is history.” Actual history books are biased he said, “Histories are made of rotten bricks. Novels lay straw in the mortar.” As for style: “Style covers the waterfront. Style is charm, but it limits the writer’s ability.”
“The Sound and the Baby Führer.” Article-interview by Gene Santaro. World War II 22 (May), 23-25.