(Reuters) - U.S. writer Norman Mailer, a towering presence on the U.S. literary scene for decades, has died.
Opinions poured out of Mailer. Following are some of this thoughts on the United States, men, women and himself:
“America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.”
-- From “Advertisements for Myself,” a collection of essays, poems and observations.
“I’ve always felt that my relationship to the United States is analogous to a marriage. I love this country. I hate it. I get angry at it. I feel close to it. I’m charmed by it. I’m repelled by it. And it’s a marriage that’s gone on for let’s say at least 50 years of my writing life, and in the course of that, what’s happened? It’s gotten worse. It’s not what it used to be.”
-- A 1998 interview for French television.
“Masculinity is not something given to you, something you’re born with but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor. Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.”
-- A 1966 essay.
“I find now that women have achieved some power and recognition they are quite the equal of men in every stupidity and vice and misjudgment that we’ve exercised through history. They’re narrow-minded, power seeking, incapable of recognizing the joys of a good discussion. The women’s movement is filled with tyrants, just as men’s political movements are equally filled.”
-- Discussing his long-running rivalry with feminist leaders in an interview with Time magazine in 1991.
“I hate everything which is not in myself.”
-- Cold-hearted Sgt. Croft in Mailer’s World War Two novel “The Naked and the Dead.”
“I felt something shift to murder in me. I felt that I was an outlaw, a psychic outlaw, and I liked it.”
-- Describing a growing sense of disillusion in “Advertisements for Myself.”
“It’s a misperception of me that I am a wild man -- I wish I still were ... The rage now is, oh, so deep it’s almost comfortable. It has even approached the point where I can live with it philosophically. The world’s not what I want it to be. But then no one ever said I had the right to design the world.”
-- 1991 Time interview.
“I’ll keep writing as long as I possibly can. I just don’t want to end up an old writer who isn’t very good.”
-- A 2000 interview with The New York Times.
Compiled by Bill Trott
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