Advertisements for myself by Norman Mailer

First appearing in 1959, “Advertisements for Myself” is one of the most far-out books ever published by a novelist. It containis stories, essays, reviews, interviews, novel excerpts and poems, along with, italicized annotations courtesy of the author, expect nothing less than raging talent assessing itself and the world around it. Advertisements for myself is sometimes, this book displays a massive, raging talent assessing itself and the world around it. It is sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes maddening, and an extremely compelling read.

Norman Mailer is ambitiously states his desire to write a novel on the level of Dostoyevsky, Mann and Tolstoy, and some hilarious assessments of his contemporaries. He has a commentary on the ups and downs of his career and his disgust and sadness about the decline of American literature are illuminating, but his self-aggrandizement and egocentricity could lead you to regurgitate. However, one should just stand in awe at the monument of his talent and his passion.

Reading this book today, one can ask – “Did he fulfill his expectations?” Read “Harlot’s Ghost,” “Ancient Evenings,” “The Executioner’s Song” and numerous other works, both fiction and nonfiction, and let me know if you think they will stand the test of time. The small sections of his self-promoted masterpiece make for very stimulating reading.

All in all, Mailer’s Advertisements for Myself is a required reading for anyone who loves great literature or aspires to write for themselves.


Advertisements for myself by Norman Mailer


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