The Executioner's Song | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 28 pages of analysis & critique of The Executioner's Song.
This section contains 7,852 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert Merrill

SOURCE: "Mailer's Sad Comedy: The Executioner's Song," in Texas Studies in Literature and Language, Vol. 34, No. 1, Spring, 1992, pp. 129-48.

In the following essay, Merrill reconsiders the critical reception of The Executioner's Song through analysis of Mailer's presentation and major themes in the novel. According to Merrill, Mailer's treatment of social injustice and tragedy evokes compassion for all characters involved.

This is an absolutely astonishing book.

                                    —Joan Didion

The time is right, I think, to reconsider The Executioner's Song (1979), Norman Mailer's famous "true life novel" (the book's oxymoronic subtitle). Though the work received an extremely favorable reception from reviewers (more favorable than any of Mailer's books save The Naked and the Dead, The Armies of the Night, and, curiously enough, Existential Errands), The Executioner's Song remains an enigma in the history of Mailer's critical reputation. Since 1979 most essays on the book have been friendly, but they have all dealt...

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This section contains 7,852 words
(approx. 27 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Robert Merrill
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Critical Essay by Robert Merrill from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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