Two geniuses, one iconic photograph: Norman Mailer hated this Diane Arbus portrait and once said, “Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.” I love this picture and wonder how he felt about it later in life. His louche manner, his provocative pose, he’s rebelling against that three piece suit. This picture represents much of what I love about the iconoclastic Mailer.
It’s too disturbing to read a writer with a good style when you’re in the middle of putting your work together. It’s very much like taking your car apart and having all the pieces on the floor when somebody rides by in a Ferrari. Now, you may hear a note in the Ferrari that isn’t good and say, That motor needs a little tuning. But nonetheless the car is there and yours is on the floor. So while I’m working on a book, I rarely read more than The New York Times.
The Executioner’s Song, based on Norman Mailer’s 1979 “true life novel,” was originally broadcast on NBC in November of ‘82. Tommy Lee Jones won the 1983 Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Special for his performance.
I take it for granted that there’s a side of me that loves public action, and there’s another side of me that really wants to be alone and work and write. And I’ve learned to alternate the two as matters develop.