Mailer: Almost Comic Obtuseness

Norman Mailer was honored for lifetime achievement at the National Book Awards this week, and he was feisty as ever. “The passion readers used to feel for venturing into the serious novel has withered,” he said. Mailer, whose other books include such award-winning nonfiction as ‘The Armies of the Night,’ disparaged commercial fiction and likened himself to a carriage maker watching the ‘disappearance of his trade before the onrush of the automobile’.”