My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Advertisements for himself

The Atlantic runs a few excerpts from Norman Mailer's massive trove – over a thousand boxes! – of correspondence. In 1965, he writes to William F. Buckley, Jr., about Joan Didion (who, without any premeditation on my part, seems to be turning into the recurring theme of this week's blogging):

What a marvelous girl Joan Didion must be. I think that’s one conservative I would like to meet. And who would ever have thought that the nicest [review of An American Dream] I am to read about myself four weeks after publication should come in the National Review. Well, this is the year of literary wonders. What do you think the odds would have been for a parlay of good reviews in National Review, Life, the New York Times Sunday Book Review, Paul Pickrel at Harper’s, and the Chicago Tribune. One hundred fifty million to one, or would we have picked it by light-years?

Anyway, I write you this letter in great envy. I think you are going finally to displace me as the most hated man in American life. And of course that position is bearable only if one is number one.

A thousand boxes! Could it be that Mailer is one of those writers who will end up being admired more for their collected letters or journals than for the work published during their lifetimes?


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