07.47

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Norman Mailer: Works and Days
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Frontmatter
PrefaceLennon IntroductionLucas IntroductionAcknowledgments and Appreciations
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Works IndexNM’s IntroductionsThe Big BiteMailer for MayorAbbott Affair
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Journals: 1952-2000, by Arthur Schlesinger Jr. New York: Penguin. Mailer met Schlesinger in the early 1950s, when they were on a panel about the 1930s with Norman Podhoretz and Mary McCarthy at Columbia University, and they remained friends. In the 80s and 90s, he and Norris often socialized with the Schlesingers. In July 1960, Schlesinger was at the Kennedy compound in Hyannis when Mailer interviewed Kennedy, and he provides context for their meeting. He also reports that Bill Walton, a close friend of the Kennedys, told him that Mrs. Kennedy agreed with Mailer’s unflattering description of her in Esquire (see 62.12) when she gave a February 1962 tour of the White House on national television. Schlesinger also reports being at a 60th birthday party for Mailer hosted by J.F.K.’s sister, Pat Lawford Kennedy, and a January 1990 dinner at which Mailer described J.F.K. as “the most priapic President.” At that dinner, Mailer went on to discuss Thomas Pynchon (“I haven’t been able to finish a Pynchon novel”); his tolerance for Roy Cohn; and his admiration for Henry Kissinger (“the kind of man I would go to for intelligent advice”). Schlesinger also reports a conversation he had with Norris about Mailer’s affair with Carol Mallory, and how it almost destroyed their marriage. Norris: “I told him that, if he ever does anything like this again, I will leave him at once and forever.” There are several more entries concerning Mailer, all of interest.