71.30a

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Norman Mailer: Works and Days
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“Mailer: Prisoner of Sex.” Interview with Elliot Mintz. Los Angeles Free Press, 17 December, 3, 18. Most of Mailer’s comments in this fairly long interview deal with the response by feminists to The Prisoner of Sex (71.20). Mailer says that his debate with feminists centers on whether the differences between men and women are superficial or profound. “I think there is where the brunt of my argument was in the book. And I think that’s what aroused all the reaction among the women,” adding that the Women’s Liberation has “a huge potentiality for totalitarianism, and I think women ought to be the first to be aware of it.” Yet, he agrees with many of the movement’s goals, and is “two-thirds to three-quarters sympathetic to Women’s Liberation.” Asked about his reputation as a heavy drinker, he says, “Actually, I’m a rather moderate drinker, except for certain occasions.” “Most Americans,” he adds, “get most of their spiritual experiences when they’re drunk. And, I say, I’m one of them.” Mailer ends the interview with some comments on his film, Maidstone, which was then playing in New York City. “Right now, today, I want to be remembered as a great film director and I want Maidstone to be remembered as my first major film.” See 71.16, 71.20, 71.25, 71.27, 71.28.