The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer

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Cover of The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer.
Written by
Barry H. Leeds

New York • New York University Press, 1969 [a]

In no other writer since Hemingway has a personal image so influenced and clouded critical opinion. This, the first full-length study of Norman Mailer's works, attempts to deal honestly with Mailer the artist.

In his examination of Mailer's fiction, Dr. Leeds contends that the artist's thematic concern with the plight of the individual in con­temporary society is a legacy of the thirties, modified by Mailer's unique perspective. Leeds con­tinues with an appraisal of the non­ fiction, tracing the development of the writer's distinctive narrative voice from the early works to the extraordinarily successful The Armies of the Night.

Leeds concludes that this book, which won the 1968 National Book Award for Arts and Letters, is a fusion of elements of both the fiction and the nonfiction. As he puts it: “Three lines of development converge here: Mailer’s fiction, his previous nonfiction works, his public image. . . . [The Armies of the Night is the] logical culmination of Mailer’s personal concern with the individual and American society, and his increasing control over narrative prose, as they have developed over two decades.”

Table of Contents

  1. The Naked and the Dead
  2. Barbary Shore
  3. The Deer Park
  4. An American Dream
  5. Why Are We in Vietnam?
  6. Deaths for the Ladies and Other Disasters
  7. Advertisements for Myself, The Presidential Papers, and Cannibals and Christians
  8. The Armies of the Night and Miami and the Siege of Chicago

About the Author

BARRY H. LEEDS has his B.A. and M.A. degrees from Columbia University and his Ph.D. from Ohio University. He has taught at the City University of New York, the University of Texas at El Paso, and Ohio University. He is currently Assistant Professor of English at Central Connecticut State College.

Note

  1. The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer is reproduced here with the permission of the estate of Barry H. Leeds. Project Mailer and the Norman Mailer Society would like to thank Ashley Leeds for her kind support of our endeavors.