Norman Mailer | Critical Essay by James Wolcott

This literature criticism consists of approximately 6 pages of analysis & critique of Norman Mailer.
This section contains 805 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Poirier

Critical Essay by James Wolcott

Writing in brief, widely spaced-apart paragraphs, Mailer laces together a string of disquieting anecdotes [about condemned killer Gary Gilmore in The Executioner's Song], creating an atmosphere of friction and frayed nerves: fear at the heart of an empty calm.

The early chapters are suspenseful—doubly suspenseful: The reader not only waits for Gilmore's nerves to snap, but also for Mailer to make an all-trumpets-raised-in-tribute entrance as Aquarius or The Reporter or The Existential Detective. Instead, Mailer slyly—wisely—cloaks himself in invisibility and keeps a watchful distance…. He shadows Gilmore, shooting him from a dozen angles, darting in and out of the minds of his victims, lovers, enemies, and kinfolks. Free of psychometaphysical bombast (remember the anagrammatic analysis in Marilyn, the apocalyptic epiphanies of The Faith of Graffiti?), The Executioner's Song is a study of shallows...

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This section contains 805 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Richard Poirier
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