Norman Mailer

Martin Kich (Wright State University)
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It is open to argument whether Norman Mailer is one of the major


of his generation, but he is certainly one of the greatest


and is arguably the most singular literary figure of his generation. What makes Mailer most difficult to discuss is the same thing that made Ernest Hemingway difficult to discuss: his public persona has become so outsized that it has not only colored the composition and reception of his work, but it has in some ways completely overshadowed the work, fixing preconceptions about the work in the minds of both casual readers and students of literature who may have read relatively little of what has become a daunting body of work. It may be true of all writers, but it is especially true of Mailer that we may not know how “good” his work really is…

4631 words

Citation: Kich, Martin. "Norman Mailer". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 March 2003; last revised 10 November 2007. [, accessed 26 May 2024.]

2882 Norman Mailer 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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