Writing for The Baffler, Rob Madole reviews the Library of America’s latest edition of The Naked and the Dead, and discusses Mailer’s experience of death during World War II through his letters. Madole writes:
[The letters] reveal . . . a Mailer busy fashioning himself into one of the earliest inhabitants of postwar America’s spectacle-driven, phantasmagorically violent, ideologically muddled psychic terrain—a Mailer who’d succeed beyond his wildest imagination precisely thanks to his talent for mistaking his sensationalist energies for ideas, his compelling simulacra for the real thing, his style for substance.
Read the review: