Political And Other Miscellany From A Stout Democrat In Dallas Texas.
"Politics is the only game for adults." --from Robert A. Heinlein's Double Star

Monday, April 25, 2005

EXPENSIVE BAD TASTE: This week Norman Mailer will be in Austin, where The University has agreed to buy his mountain of notes and letters for $2.5 million. Why, oh why, spend Texas money on such drivel? This pretentious, boring, sexist brute did one war novel some folks liked, and has spent over five decades since, not just failing to live up to his promise, but scrawling literary graffiti over everything in sight. As time went by his reach exceeded his grasp by increasing margins, and his long-windedness passed all reason. (Yes, so does mine, but I'm not asking to be paid for it.) Clever ideas, like Ancient Evenings and Harlot's Ghost, drowned in their self-indulgence. His most unusual project, the underestimated An American Dream, was his own spin on surrealism as therapy: instead of telling this nightmare to a shrink, he bundled it up with pop icons and charged readers for it. (In passing, I warn that not even such a novel deserved the gross butchery and dishonesty of its unspeakable movie version.) A century from now spiders will be building webs on unconsulted boxes of his memorabilia. What a waste -- of his possible talent, and of U.T.'s acquisition funds.


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