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The ITT List

Saturday, Nov 10, 2007, 12:36 pm

Norman Mailer Dead At 84

By Jarrett Dapier

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Norman Mailer, the literary pugilist, is dead at the age of 84.

I'll never forget how startling, how gripping, how goddam beautiful a book The Executioner's Song is. Maybe I'll pick it up today as a send off to him.

Gore Vidal:

“Mailer is forever shouting at us that he is about to tell us something we must know or has just told us something revelatory and we failed to hear him or that he will, God grant his poor abused brain and body just one more chance, get through to us so that we will know. Each time he speaks he must become more bold, more loud, put on brighter motley and shake more foolish bells. Yet of all my contemporaries I retain the greatest affection for Norman as a force and as an artist. He is a man whose faults, though many, add to rather than subtract from the sum of his natural achievements.”

Keep your eyes on the ITT List in the coming week for a wrap-up of the best elegies, obits, and memoirs about him.

For now read the pieces in the Times, The New Yorker, and the Guardian.

Also, Salon.

Jarrett Dapier is a former assistant publisher at In These Times. Previous work for ITT includes interviews with playwright Christopher Shinn and Fugazi guitarist, Ian Mackaye. He currently works with teens at the Evanston Public Library where he runs a recycled drumming program and directs stage adaptations of young adult literature. He lives in Evanston, IL.

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