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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - Study Guide "Norman Mailer's Self-Advertisements" (1960) Summary & Analysis

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Vidal assesses Normal Mailer as novelist in comparison with his own novel-writing career and that of other American novelists. He concludes that Mailer is probably more self-promoter than serious writer, although he is an "honorable" person. Vidal notes parallels between his career and Mailer's such as the publication of the former's first novel, Williwaw, at about the same time as the latter's The Naked and the Dead, and finds a sadness in the fact that both of their careers were stifled by the intellectual barrenness of the Eisenhower years.

Vidal also seems to lament that writers in America are no more immune than, say, presidents, movie stars or baseball players to the swift ascent followed by the crashing to earth that results from fickle public tastes in a capitalist democracy. "That wide graveyard of...

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This section contains 306 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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