Norman Mailer at 100: Conversations, Correlations, Confrontations
Published by: LSU Press
Imprint: LSU Press
Sales Date: 2022-11-23
Published: November 2022
Imprint: LSU Press
Page Count: 248 Pages
Illustrations: 1 halftone
Dimensions: 152.00 x 228.00
248 Pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 0.97 in, 1 halftone
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Norman Mailer at 100 celebrates the author?s centenary in 2023 and the seventy-fifth anniversary of the publication of his bestselling debut novel, The Naked and the Dead, by illustrating how Mailer remains a provocative presence in American letters. Novelist and Mailer scholar Robert J. Begiebing lays out how this polymath author?s work makes vital contributions to the larger American literary landscape, encompassing the debates of the nation?s founders, the traditions of Western Romanticism, and the juggernaut of twentieth-century modernism.
The book includes six critical essays, two creative dialogues featuring Walt Whitman and Ernest Hemingway, and Begiebing?s own interview with Mailer from 1983. Each piece pairs Mailer with a critical interlocutor whose work offers telling revelations about his ideas and art, among them Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung, Kate Millett, and Joan Didion. By encouraging a reconsideration of his career from its beginnings to his final books in the early twenty-first century, Norman Mailer at 100 forges a new path toward appreciating the author?s achievements that underscores the extent to which his work can help us confront the challenges of today.
?Writing with an unmatched understanding of the rich, deep, and illuminating parallels (and stubborn discordances) between the life and work of Norman Mailer and seven iconic writer-thinkers, Robert J. Begiebing has produced a magisterial work of permanent value, not only for Mailer?s admirers but for all who are alarmed at the gap between the millennial promise of American life and its current divided and parlous condition. Especially powerful in this regard is his brilliant evocation of Mailer and Whitman in conversation, and an equally delicious dialogue with Hemingway.? J. Michael Lennon, author of Norman Mailer: A Double Life
?This groundbreaking study is a crisp, cogent examination of the American legacy of Norman Mailer within the spheres of such towering figures as Hemingway, Didion, Whitman, and Emerson. This colloquy reveals timeless, essential discussions in the stream of seminal American intellectual and aesthetic forces.? Phillip Sipiora, editor of the Mailer Review
?Norman Mailer?s centennial in 2023 provides an occasion to pause for a meaningful consideration (or reconsideration) of the author?s role within American literary and cultural history. Robert Begiebing rises to that occasion in Norman Mailer at 100: Conversations, Correlations, Confrontations, a collection that emphasizes Mailer?s far-reaching connections to other writers and intellectuals . . . . Begiebing?s preface provides a concise and persuasive overview of why Mailer matters in terms of a comprehensive and honest appraisal of American democracy, history, and identity. The preface is also a representative snapshot of the carefully balanced approach he will take toward Mailer?s legacy, as he immediately acknowledges that Mailer?s ?flawed humanity? informs and sometimes conflicts with the author?s important contributions. Yet as Begiebing also emphasizes, Mailer is an undeniable part of our history, a prolific author committed to the ?the untidy journey? of a writing life, whose intellectual provocations, original ideas, and pointed critiques of the world around him had an abiding impact on conversations about art and politics for decades. Begiebing?s collection is, in some ways, a study in how to intelligently and compassionately navigate the difficult task of taking seriously an author?s work even when we disagree with a portion of that author?s actions or beliefs.? Maggie McKinley, review from The Mailer Review