Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Norman Mailer: The Sixth Time Around

The Naked and the Naked
I just finished A Ticket to the Circus by Norris Church Mailer, significant other to author Norman Mailer by marriage: his 6th, her second. The story made me think of a pinball machine with Mrs. Mailer being the bright silver game focus that manages with just one pull of the lever to hit everyone of relative importance in the twentieth century.

Mrs. Mailer starts out as a free, young spirit from Arkansas who became a rebellious art teacher. Her notoriety eventually gets her an invitation to a party that happens to be hosting Norman Mailer. If you read between the lines the rather glaring text actually says she bullied herself through the door...

The rest is a gossipy history of a 27 year long and very complicated marriage to one of the 20th century's most influential writers. Mailer's peccadilloes are a hoot though I still wish he'd lived long enough to finish the second half of Harlot's Ghost. Darn.

Post by Phil Carr