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Anyone with a serious interest in American and in twentieth-century literature will applaud the reprinting of Norman Mailer's Advertisements for Myself. No single work of his, before or since, is as important to an understanding of his literary career or of his emergence as an authentic public personality, and none is as fully representative of the range and variety of his concerns. -- Richard Poirier Rutgers University This is a wonderful exercise in American autobiography, and in that self-mocking, self-glorifying, cynical, naive, outrageous, intelligent, uniquely his own and uniquely American autobiographical voice of which Mailer is the modern master. -- Wendy Lesser Threepenny Review --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
'I started as a generous but very spoiled boy, and I seem to have turned into a slightly punch-drunk and very ugly club fighter who can fight clean and fight dirty, but likes to fight. I have not gotten nicer as I have grown older…'
An essential guide to the life and work of one of America's most controversial writers, 'Advertisements for Myself' is a comprehensive collection of the best of Norman Mailer's essays, stories, interviews and journalism from the Forties and Fifties, linked by anarchic and riotous autobiographical commentary. Laying bare the heart of a witty, belligerent and vigorous writer, this manifesto of Mailer's key beliefs contains pieces on his war experiences in the Philippines (the basis for his famous first novel 'The Naked and the Dead'), tributes to fellow novelists William Styron, Saul Bellow, Truman Capote and Gore Vidal and magnificent polemics against pornography, advertising, drugs and politics. Also included is his notorious exposition of the phenomenon of the 'White Negro', the Beat Generation's existentialist hero whose life, like Mailer's is 'an uncharted journey into the rebellious imperatives of the self'.
Confirming Mailer's reputation as one of the best essayists in America, 'Advertisements for Myself' is an unflinching and marvellously immodest self-portrait of an extraordinary man whose literary ambition is no less than to bring about 'a revolution in the consciousness of our time'.
"Mailer is a genuine original, working against the grain of the rest of his contemporaries."