We are close to dead. There are faces and bodies like gorged maggots on the dance floor, on the highway, in the city, in the stadium; they are a host of chemical machines who swallow the product of chemical factories, aspirin, preservatives, stimulant, relaxant, and breathe out their chemical wastes into a polluted air. The sense of a long last night over civilization is back again.

Norman Mailer

We're all divided souls, we've got two natures in us, You measure schizophrenia not by the fact that you're divided but how well the divisions speak to one another.

Norman Mailer

I think it's bad to talk about one's present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension.

Norman Mailer

Writing for a newspaper is like running a revolutionary war. You go to battle not when you are ready, but when action offers itself.

Norman Mailer

I never saw love as luck, as that gift from the gods which put everything else in place, and allowed you to succeed. No, I saw love as reward. One could find it only after one's virtue, or one's courage, or self-sacrifice, or generosity, or loss, has succeeded in stirring the power of creation.

Norman Mailer

America has an almost obscene infatuation with itself. Has there ever been a big, powerful country that is as patriotic as America? And patriotic in the tinniest way, with so much flag waving? You'd really think we were some poor little republic, and that if one person lost his religion for one hour, the whole thing would crumble. America is the real religion in this country.

Norman Mailer

A book of great beauty and manically exquisite insight with a wild and deadly humor . . . The only American novelist who may conceivably be possessed by genius.

Norman Mailer

We think of Marilyn who was every man's love affair with America. Marilyn Monroe who was blonde and beautiful and had a sweet little rinky-dink of a voice and all the cleanliness of all the clean American backyards.

Norman Mailer

I had the idea that there were two worlds. There was a real world as I called it, a world of wars and boxing clubs and children'shomes on back streets, and this real world was a world where orphans burned orphans.... I liked the other world in which almost everyone lived. The imaginary world.

Norman Mailer

Decade after decade, artists came to paint the light of Provincetown, and comparisons were made to the lagoons of Venice and the marshes of Holland, but then the summer ended and most of the painters left, and the long dingy undergarment of the gray New England winter, gray as the spirit of my mood, came down to visit.

Norman Mailer

A political convention is after all not a meeting of a corporation's board of directors; it is a fiesta, a carnival, a pig-rooting, horse-snorting, band-playing, voice-screaming medieval get-together of greed, practical lust, compromised idealism, career-advancement, meeting, feud, vendetta, conciliation, of rabble-rousers, fist fights (as it used to be), embraces, drunks (again as it used to be) and collective rivers of animal sweat.

Norman Mailer

Growth is a greater mystery than death. All of us can understand failure, we all contain failure and death within us, but not even the successful man can begin to describe the impalpable elations and apprehensions of growth.

Norman Mailer

The great power in America is the corporations - we`re a corporate country. We`re run by a CEO and the stockholders have very little to say on how the corporation is run. Fine, the board of directors run it and the stockholders can just be disgruntled, but who gives a damn?

Norman Mailer

We divorced ourselves from the materials of the earth, the rock, the wood, the iron ore; we looked to new materials which were cooked in vats, long complex derivatives of urine which we called plastic. They had no odor of the living, ... their touch was alien to nature. ... [They proliferated] like the matastases of cancer cells.

Norman Mailer

Amateurs... venture into scenes that a writer with more experience (and more professional concern) would bypass or eschew altogether.

Norman Mailer

I certainly do have this feeling of affection for the absolute sense of intellectual freedom that exists as a live nerve, a live wire, right through the center of American life.

Norman Mailer

The Frenchman Jean-PaulSartre ... had a dialectical mind good as a machine for cybernetics, immense in its way, he could peel a nuance like an onion, but he had no sense of evil, the anguish of God, and the possible existence of Satan.

Norman Mailer