Taki, writing for the Spectator in Australia simultaneously disses the latest “hatchet job” biography of Mailer and gives reasons why we should still be reading writers like him and Hemingway. He begins with my current favorite sentence: “Norman Mailer was born on 31 January 1923, and as his 100th birthday approaches there is a major revival of interest among those who can still read.” Ouch. I suspect Mailer would have a good chuckle at that.
Taki takes issue with Bradford’s assertion that Mailer was always looking for a fight, but in one sentence provides a deadly riposte: “Funny what people not in the know will say or write.” Touché. He observes that in their 30-odd-year acquaintance, he never saw Mailer “start something or do anything aggressive.”
I often wonder what Papa [Hemingway] and Norman would have written about the debasement of our society nowadays, the something-for-nothing celebrities – hustlers like the Kardashians and their ilk. Both writers dealt with the brutality of life. In fact, it was always present in their writing: bullfighting and big game hunting for Papa, boxing and skiing for Norman. And both were ready to use their fists, as good men should be – or used to be in the good old days.
Read the complete editorial: