An essential guide to the life and work of one of America's most controversial writers, "Advertisements for Myself" is a comprehensive collection of the best of Norman Mailer's essays, stories, interviews and journalism from the Forties and Fifties, linked by anarchic and riotous autobiographical commentary. Laying bare the heart of a witty, belligerent and vigorous writer, this manifesto of Mailer's key beliefs contains pieces on his war experiences in the Philippines (the basis for his famous first novel "The Naked and the Dead), tributes to fellow novelists William Styron, Saul Bellow, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal and magnificent polemics against pornography, advertising, drugs and politics. Also included is his notorious exposition of the phenomenon of the 'White Negro', the Beat Generation's existentialist hero whose life, like Mailer's, is 'an unchartered journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self'.
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(210mm x 140mm x 35mm)
Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
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US Kirkus Review »
Norman Mailer has evolved a theory that an author must create a public personality for himself in order to sell books, and in accordance with this theory he here publishes everything he has ever written, each piece accompanied with a long and frequently fascinating introduction concerning how the work was written, what he thought about it when he wrote it, and how he thinks about it now. The materical includes five excellent early short stories, his columns for the Village Voice, his now famous essay The White Negro, a couple of other (and much better essays) on David Riesman and Western Defense, a pair of passages from his forthcoming novel, as yet untitled but than which nothing more clinical has been seen since Edmund Wilson's notorious Princess with the Golden Hair. Mr. Mailer also includes a lot of opinions of his peers in the field of literature which are back-breakingly honest and also pretty shrewd. Mr. Mailer is by far the most articulate (literarily speaking) exponent of the way of life he prefers to call Hip (rather than Beat), and it is therefore the more unfortunate that another of his theories requires him to use Anglo- Saxon monosyllables on principle, because his Advertisements is practically certain to be banned in many localities, and possibly nationally. There is a good deal of nonsense in this, much very strong meat, and a lot that stands up well in spite of the framework. This is sure to be some kind of succes de scandal, but the bullheaded integrity behind the undertaking compels a certain respect. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Norman Mailer
Norman Mailer was an American novelist and essayist.