Re: No, I'm The Real Slim Shady


The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shady, Badass

Never a poor white of a Dedicator had less to prove by his Dedication, for it is written in rehab, &c.

I probably should read that novel one of these days.

Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 2:05 AM
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eb, it is only the greatest novel of all time. it marks the curious starting point at which the original form of the novel was massively meta-novel, surpassing only the satyricon in this respect. plus, you will laugh out loud and make people stare at you on "the" BART.

Posted by: a | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 2:31 AM
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I recommend reading Tristram Shandy while very high; it might take a month or so, but you'll really enjoy it.

Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 5:58 AM
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having been a spectator at a couple of catfights in my time, I'm not sure I'd describe the appeal as remote or empyrean.

Posted by: dsquared | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 6:09 AM
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Does anyone read Norman Mailer any more? He played the tough-guy thing a lot, and the stud thing, and the existentialist thing, and the left thing, and he was a sort of proto-New Journalist by bringing his own personality into non-fiction writing, and he did the writer-celebrity-fuckup thing, but if you look at his stuff at any given stage there's something wrong with it. I always wondered who it was that liked his writing and I ended up believing it was people who didn't want to do the stuff he did and never had done it, but wanted to read about it. He was like a literate (and prolific) reporter about Real Life for people who were avoiding Real Life.

He played a part in getting an "articulate" murderer (Jack Abbott) released from prison, but Abbott almost immediately killed someone for no particular reason.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 7:18 AM
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He considered his success as a pimp as a blow against white oppression.

Don't we all, man. Don't we all.

Posted by: Matt F | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 8:12 AM
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Does anyone read Norman Mailer any more?

No, but he appeared as himself on Gilmore girls a couple seasons ago.

Posted by: ac | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 8:15 AM
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the thing about norman mailer is that, in addition to his being an obvious asshole blowhard, he is also a bad writer. not a lot going for him.

Posted by: alameida | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 8:45 AM
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I've always liked the Dorothy Parker line: "Oh, you're the young man who can't spell fuck."

Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 8:48 AM
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What he had going for him was that he was prolific. He may have been a bad writer, but he was a competent, professional bad writer, and he reliably turned out product. And by mixing in various attempts at existentialism, politics, decadence, etc., he raised himself a notch above the authors of the big thick potboiler best sellers (Herman Wouk, James Michener, et al).

But even in my own lifetime, kiddies, people took him very seriously.

Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 10:07 AM
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I wonder how typical I am for having taken him seriously as a figure, without having read him very much? One is always a bit awed by the capacity of others to read, and bashful about never having gotten around to doing it. In a way, I suppose, I must have judged that there wasn't anything in his writing that made me want to read more, but I don't remember deciding that consciously. It's odd in a way, because I did read James Jones, and "The Naked and The Dead" is supposed to be good in that genre.

Only thing I know for sure I read is "Miami and Chicago," and I can remember my dad reading that in the magazine when it first came out.

I guess if you'd asked me, thirty years ago, "who's a major American novelist?" I'd have put him on the list, but it's funny when I think of it that I never made the time to read him

Posted by: John Tingley | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 10:52 AM
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I liked The Executioner's Song quite a bit -- I may even have read it twice -- but my memory of whether it was actually any good is quite dim, these 17? years gone by. (Or if my memory of rereading it is accurate, 15 years gone by -- I definitely considered rereading it when I was 20 but may not have actually followed through.) And Why Are We In Vietnam? was if nothing else, very confusing.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 11:06 AM
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Oh and, the other of his books that I read was Tough Guys Don't Dance, which when I was 15 seemed cool-but-lightweight and no longer seems cool even through the darkened glass of memory.

Posted by: Jeremy Osner | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 11:10 AM
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Tristram Shandy very, very, very good.

Norman Mailer, not so much.

Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 11:25 AM
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I liked this memoir . She doesn't hit bottom and she makes fun of those who do.

Posted by: Joe O | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 11:34 AM
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My dad's enjoying the foolery in Miami and Chicago is a pleasant memory for me; made him seem a little more sophisticated than I usually thought.

And I must have read some of Of a Fire On The Moon, because I can remember mentioning it to my Physics advisor, and being amazed that he stopped to make a note of it. Mailer's undergrad degree was in engineering, I think it was something lyrical about engineering lives.

Didn't inspire me enough though. I switched to English and Linda Hirshman wasn't there to try to stop me.

Posted by: John Tingley | Link to this comment | 01-30-06 11:57 AM
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