“Writing is spooky,” according to Norman Mailer. “There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words.” In The Spooky Art, Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it. Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of more than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer’s craft.
Praise for The Spooky Art
“ The Spooky Art shows Mailer’s brave willingness to take on demanding forms and daunting issues. . . . He has been a thoughtful and stylish witness to the best and worst of the American century.”— The Boston Globe
“At his best—as artists should be judged—Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure. There is enough of his best in this book for it to be welcomed with gratitude.”— The Washington Post
“The richest book ever written about the writer’s subconscious.”— The Philadelphia Inquirer
“Striking . . . entrancingly frank.”— Entertainment Weekly
Praise for Norman Mailer
“[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”— The New York Times
“A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”— The New Yorker
“Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure.”— The Washington Post
“A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”— Life
“Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”— The New York Review of Books
“The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”— Chicago Tribune
“Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”— The Cincinnati Post
From the Hardcover edition.
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|Title of eBook: The Spooky Art|
|Release Date: 01-21-2003|
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|Publisher: Random House Publishing Group|
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The Spooky Art
I am tempted to call this section Economics, for it concerns the loss
and gain (economically, psychically, physically) of living as a writer.
Let’s settle, however, for a term that may be closer to the everyday
reality: Lit Biz. Spend your working life as a writer and depend on
it–your income, your spirit, and your liver are all on close terms with
In 1963, Steve Marcus did an interview with me for The Paris Review, and
I have taken the liberty of separating his careful and elegantly
structured questions into several parts in order to give a quick shape
to my first years as a writer. For those who are more interested in what
I have to say about writing in general than about myself in particular,
you are invited to skip over these autobiographical details and move on
to a few comments on my first two books, The Naked and the Dead and
Barbary Shore. Or, if you are in search of directly useful nitty-gritty,
move even further, to “The Last Draft of The Deer Park.”
steven marcus: Do you need any particular environment in which to write?
norman mailer: I like a room with a view, preferably a long view. I like
looking at the sea, or ships, or anything which has a vista to it. Oddly
enough, I’ve never worked in the mountains.
sm: When did you first think of becoming a writer?
nm: That’s hard to answer. I did a lot of writing when I was young.
sm: How young?
sm: A real novel?
nm: Well, it was a science fiction novel about people on Earth taking a
rocket ship to M