07.18

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Norman Mailer: Works and Days
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Epilogue, A Rough Draft.” Article-interview by Josh Getlin. Los Angeles Times, 4 February. Mailer summarizes his achievements in biography, saying he was “less successful with Jesus, because ultimately you can’t penetrate into the nature of Jesus.” He felt his portrait of Marilyn was superior to that of Henry Miller, “because he’s such a great writer.” He gave himself higher marks for his portrait of Muhammad Ali in The Fight (75.12) because he knew him so well: “There was a confidence, an excitement, an expressiveness about him that made it very easy to write.” Writing about Picasso taught him about “the meanness, the spite, the ugliness and the backbiting in the literary world is miniscule compared to what goes on in the art world.” Of The Castle in the Forest (07.10), he says: “It has more profoundly disturbing ideas in it than any book I’ve written.”