“The Art of Fiction, No. 193, Norman Mailer.” Interview by Andrew O’Hagan. Paris Review, no. 181 (summer), 44–80. Omnibus interview conducted in April that explores many themes and ideas, and a dozen of his major books. Very important interview by a novelist who is quite familiar and friendly with Mailer. At the outset, Mailer comments on style:
||There’s such a thing as having too much style. I think the only one who ever got away with it is Proust. He really had a perfect mating of material and style. Usually if you have a great style your material will be more constrained. That applies to Henry James and it applies to Hemingway. The reverse of that would be Zola, whose style is reasonably decent, nothing remarkable, because the material is so prodigious. I think in my own work I’ve gone through the poles of style. It is at its best in An American Dream (65.7) and virtually nonexistent in The Executioner’s Song (79.14), because the material is prodigious. In An American Dream it was all my own imagining. I was cooking the dish.