10 November 2007

So Sad

Norman Mailer died today. He was 84 years old.

I am on my way out of the house and will re-write this post later, but just wanted to share the sad news that yet another literary light has dimmed. There's an article in the Chicago Tribune.

LATER: Okay, I am back and find I don't have much to add that hasn't been written, better than I could, by others. Among the many articles appearing online, The New York Times has a really good obit.

In 2000, we held an auction of card catalog cards at the library I worked for at the time. I wrote personal thank you notes after the auction to all of the children's authors who had contributed, as well as to my favorites among those who wrote primarily for adults. One of the people who wrote back was Norman Mailer, to whom I had written about my especial affection for The Gospel According to the Son. This morning, I dug through my "treasure chest" of letters and artwork from various authors and found his letter:

I feel very, very lucky to have this treasure.

One quote keeps running through my mind this day. It was not written about Mailer, but it may as well have been. It is from Shakespeare's Hamlet:

He was a man, take him for all in all,
I shall not look upon his like again.

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