Sunday, January 21, 2007

Speaking of Mailer...

His latest novel, The Castle in the Forest, is getting some atypically good reviews. Alan Cheuse from NPR finds it fascinating; Lee Siegel in today's Times also really goes to bat for it, in an interesting and elegant essay. Siegel is one of the few people of his generation, I think, to look at Mailer with fresh eyes. Most people who review Mailer rely on a certain cliched impression of him as a macho blowhard, and Mailer the gifted writer, Mailer the sometime visionary, Mailer the intense, driven and uniquely perceptive -- all these get left behind.

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