The Daily Miltonian salutes the life of Norman Mailer, 1932-2007.
Normal Mailer sometimes expressed regret that he never wrote the “Big One” — the Great American Novel. In our minds, he was the Big One. Whether helping found the Village Voice, running for Mayor of New York, writing weird bios of Marilyn Monroe or trying to bite off Rip Torn’s ear, Mailer loomed large and though the sun shines in Portland today, his shadow remains. He published his first novel in the forties. At age 84 he was writing the sequel to a novel published this year. You couldn’t stop him if you tried. If you gave us the energy of Mailer for one minute we’d be able to kick your ass for the rest of your life. Hats off to a life where things got done. You’re elsewhere now, Norman. Go arm-wrestle Tolstoy like you always wished you could.