Blawgletter never met Norman Mailer in person, but we did get to know him a little by reading The Armies of the Night (1968) and The Castle in the Forest (2007).

The former introduced us to a new word, micturate, which refers to making water (urinating).  The latter dealt with the birth and pre-adolescence of Adolph Hitler and the fight for his soul between angels and the servants of Satan.  It also mentioned, too many times for us, less elegant terms for human excretions.

So what do we make of Mr. Mailer, whose mother birthed him in New Jersey, who grew up in Brooklyn, and who earned a reputation for anti-feminism and proclaiming other unpopular beliefs?  We can say only that we felt a connection with him.  That we think he did his best to tell the truth as the light gave him the ability to tell it (excepting of course the stuff he made up).  And that his vulgarity didn’t, at last, obscure his talent for seducing readers into letting him have his way with their feelings.

Thank you, Mr. Mailer.  Rest in peace.

Barry Barnett

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