Saturday, November 10, 2007

mailer dies

When I was in college and quite the radical feminist, I swore I would never read that bastard Norman Mailer. In my late twenties or early thirties, when my feminism adapted for better or worse to the real world, I read The Naked and the Dead. It was a very very good book. I forgot all about "Norman Mailer."

It's often hard to separate the personality from his/her art. But you could miss something unique by just writing it off at the outset. I try to walk unprejudiced into the book/painting/music. I still allow myself to roll my eyes at the person.


Sara Kearns said...

hi sarah!

i had a similar journey with mailer. and reached the same place -- including the same book of his and the same response to it. somewhere along that path, i started to say, "it's the art, not the artist," you know? and really, in the purest sense, the artist is irrelevant, i think. which is an idea that i think is also good for all of us artists, too, as well as the audience -- that it should all be in service of the art. 'good post. :)

sam of the ten thousand things said...

I agree with you, Sarah. That's a great point. I feel the same way about Pound.

SarahJane said...

"The artist is irrelevant." I like that, though I can understand that for some people certain artists embody ideas that revolt them, and they can't let go of that. I can also respect that.
I can think of a number of artists whose opinions, behavior or attitudes make me cringe. Pound has to be among them. On a less grand scale, I think of Vincent Gallo, whose album "When" I love.
Luckily, on a way lower scale, Tom Cruise is both an enormous jerk and produces only schlock, so no conflict for me there. laugh.

feather said...

Too much knowledge of the biographical artist is part of why I often am convinced that I should never have gone and become an english major. I've decided that I prefer to learn about the author or artist as a person after I've thoroughly sampled myself in their work. It's hard, though, after being so trained to desire and expect that requisite half hour introduction to an author's biography and the historical/political climate in which they wrote; I feel sort of unarmed and ignorant unless I've at least looked them up on wikipedia.

I haven't read Mailer, but now I want to. I'll have to look for The Naked and the Dead.

SarahJane said...

actually i realize now that I read The Executiioner's Song first. But I like N&Dead more.

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