Norman Mailer

((1923-2007) / Long Branch, New Jersey, United States)

Norman Mailer Quotes

  • ''Revolutions are the periods of history when individuals count most.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. McLeod, in Barbary Shore, ch. 29, Rinehart (1951).
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  • ''You do not really wish to hear more of the Battle of Kadesh. Let me say only that human fat, gorged in considerable quantity, has an intoxicating effect. I became ... drunk.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Menenhetet, in Ancient Evenings, bk. 4, ch. 10, Little, Brown (1983).
  • ''Crude thoughts and fierce forces are my state. I do not know who I am. Nor what I was. I cannot hear a sound. Pain is near that will be like no pain felt before.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Menenhetet, in Ancient Evenings, preface, Little, Brown (1983). Opening sentence.
  • ''What were the phenomena of the world today? If I knew little else, I knew the answer—war, and the preparations for new war.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Michael Lovett, in Barbary Shore, ch. 18, Rinehart (1951).
  • ''So the blind will lead the blind, and the deaf shout warnings to one another until their voices are lost.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Michael Lovett, in Barbary Shore, ch. 33, Rinehart (1951). Concluding sentence.
  • ''Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. repr. In Conversations with Norman Mailer, ed. J. Michael Lennon (1988). "Mr. Mailer Interviews Himself," New York Times Book Review (Sept. 17, 1965).
  • ''There is one expanding horror in American life. It is that our long odyssey toward liberty, democracy and freedom-for-all may be achieved in such a way that utopia remains forever closed, and we live in freedom and hell, debased of style, not individual from one another, void of courage, our fear rationalized away.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. "My Hope for America," pt. 1, Cannibals and Christians (1966).
  • ''When the wind carries a cry which is meaningful to human ears, it is simpler to believe the wind shares with us some part of the emotion of Being than that the mysteries of a hurricane's rising murmur reduce to no more than the random collision of insensate molecules.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Narrator, "Advertisement for Myself on the Way Out," Advertisements for Myself, p. 520, Putnam's (1959).
  • ''Like all men who are Napoleonic in their ambitions ... he has instincts about the nature of growth, a lover's sense of the moment of crisis, and he knew ... how costly is defeat when it is not soothed by greater consciousness, and how wasteful is the profit of victory when there is not the courage to employ it.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Narrator, "Advertisements for Myself on the Way Out," Advertisements for Myself, p. 516, Putnam's (1959). Describing Marion Faye.
  • ''The novelist ... must live in paranoia and seek to be one with the world; he must be terrified of experience and hungry for it; he must think himself nothing and believe he is superior to all.''
    Norman Mailer (b. 1923), U.S. author. Narrator, The Man Who Studied Yoga, in New Short Novels 2, ch. 5, Ballantine (1956).

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