Norman Mailer

Norman Mailer on William F. Buckley’s Firing Line in 1968.  Much of the dialogue sounds like it was written by a precocious grad student suffering from a hangover and the trots.

Today is Norman Mailer‘s birthday (1923-2007).

Frye in a 1968 interview.

Smyth: What about other critics who are less disciplined?  I’m thinking of Mailer.

Frye: But Mailer is not a critic.  He’s a novelist.  He has a creative mind. When he speaks in the role of the critic, he reflects the confusions that a person who is not really a critic gets into.  I think that we’ve found over and over again in the history of literature that some of the world’s greatest poets have also been the most confused people in their reaction to the current political scene.  The reason is that they are concerned with so fundamentally different a job that they really shouldn’t be asked to pronounce in these areas.  (CW 24, 67)

The rest of the Buckley/Mailer interview after the jump.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

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