Fastest Cochroach – Norman Mailer R.I.P.

  • If Fred McDarrah was the eyes for the Voice, Norman Mailer would have been the eyebrow and the brain for the Voice. Norman Mailer who co-founded the Village Voice passed away following the death of the Voice Photographer Fred McDarrah.

    Obit by David Wiegand (SF Gate), Obit by Louis Menand of the Newyorker. BBC here, Villagevoice here.

    Mailer as Houdini Norman Mailer from Cremaster 2 Mathew Barney
    Norman Mailer, who mythified Gilmore in his best-selling book The Executioner’s Song, plays the escapologist Harry Houdini. (Mathew B. plays Gary Gilmore in his Cremaster 2.)

    Mathew Barney spoke of Mailer, Gary Gilmore and Houdini.

    Well, I think what Norman Mailer’s book The Executioner’s Song does so elegantly is it describes the psychological state that landscape creates.

    I think he has (qualities) not so different from this idea of Houdini having himself chained and locked and blindfolded and thrown in a box and this is the procedure to make a light, creative gesture. There’s a brutality in there that appeals to me in the same way. There’s a brutality and a physicality… that combination of accuracy and speed and violence. (Read more here)

    Mailer on reincarnation

    You believe in reincarnation. So what are you coming back as?
    Well, I’m waiting, right? I’m in the waiting room. And finally my name is called. I go in and there’s a monitoring angel who says, Mr Mailer, we’re very glad to meet you. The good news is you’ve been passed for reincarnation. I say, Oh thank you, I really didn’t want to go into eternal peace. And the monitoring angel says, Well, between us, it isn’t really necessarily eternal peace. It can be a little hectic. Let me see, before I look and see what we’ve got you down for, we always ask people, What would you like to be in your next life? And I say, Well, I think I’d like to be a black athlete. I don’t care where you put me, I’ll take my chances, but yes, that’s what I want to be, a black athlete.
    And the monitoring angel says, Listen, Mailer, we’re so oversubscribed in that department. Everybody wants to be a black athlete in their next life. Let me see what we’ve got you booked for. So he opens the big book, looks, and says, Well, we’ve got you down for a cockroach. But here’s the good news: you’ll be the fastest cockroach on the block. (From here)

    My country is my spiritual wife and I lost respect for her. (Mailer on Youtube with French subtitle)

    Mailer and his perfectionism – the sound of punching himself to eternity. Tough Guys – Nostalgia

    Cinematic Life of Norman Mailer (Harvard Films Archive)

    Mr. Tendentious and his enemies.

    The last word was reserved for Andy Warhol: ‘I always thought Norman kept a low profile, that’s what I liked about him. (via greencinedaily also from Norman Mailer writes his own Obituary)

    Mailer was an Aquarius dog – Brash Rescuer DOB:January 31, 1923