99.2a

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“Audacity.” P.O.V. April, 64–65. Brief exploration of the word audacity as it applies to the literary life. Mailer values the trait, but says that “to be bold in everything you do, however, is absurd.” The goal has to be “interesting enough to get you to embark on long shots.” He notes that “the only novels I never finished were the ones I plotted in advance,” which he said happened twice. He concludes that “it’s more honorable to try for things at the end of your reach rather than stuff which is right there.” He cites Ancient Evenings (83.18) as his most audacious novel.