Norman Mailer: A Double Life

Andrew O’Hagan writes:

Let me issue a warning. This is not a review. And it isn’t a memoir either: it’s a memoir-as-review, or perhaps an autobiographical review, or just a moderate piece of literary egotism masquerading as scholarship, or a shotgun marriage between the handsome remnants of personal history and the pretty stuff on the public record. Let’s take the spirit of J. Michael Lennon’s ‘double life’ of Norman Mailer and offer that doubleness back as subjective criticism. Mailer, after all, gave us the non-fiction novel, Lennon gives us the pseudo-objective biography, so why can’t I offer the confessional review?

(LRB 7 November 2013)

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