Quote of the Week: Norman Mailer

“I don’t think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for.”
Literary giant Norman Mailer died this morning of renal failure following lung surgery. He was 84.

The two time winner of the Pulitzer Prize was perhaps best known for his very first novel, 1948’s The Naked and the Dead, based on his own experiences in W.W. II.

From a Boston Globe piece this morning by Mark Feeney:

Norman Kingsley Mailer was born in Long Branch, N.J., on Jan. 31, 1923, the son of Isaac Barnett Mailer and Fanny (Schneider) Mailer. Mr. Mailer's father, a South African immigrant, was an accountant. His mother operated an employment agency. The family moved to Brooklyn when he was 4.

“Norman was not an ordinary child,” his mother said at his 50th birthday party. “Other children always had that sameness about them, but not Norman. He was just different.”

In a January Magazine piece this morning, J. Kingston Pierce writes:

... Mailer never lost sight of the fact that he was, first and foremost and always, a writer. And like all determined writers, he was a willing slave to his work, unable to imagine himself doing anything else except continuing to turn out words on the page that either sang or sank, but that he thought worth writing, and that he would write--no matter the skepticism voiced by critics.


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