Politics is all well and good, guys, but really -- no notice on the Amspec Blog that Norman Mailer died? When I was a budding literary boy, the idea of Great Novelist still prevailed as one of the giant aspirations of American culture. That's mostly gone now, and you could make a case that Mailer was the last of the breed. Of course there came Updike and Bellow and Roth and the rest, many of them fine craftsmen, many of them producing excellent work, but all tinged with a slight dilletantism. Mailer had the robust big talent, and he also blew it big-time, also a characteristic of the breed.
Kidney failure, they say. Hell, I've had kidney failure for nearly 30 years, and I'm not dead yet. I'll have to look up the details. Must have been some complications.
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