Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Not the week to read this book

So, the unfortunate combination of death and Norman Mailer has made me quite depressed, but alack, I must review the latest Modern Library book I read.

Or, because I am numb, I must cut the crap and telegraph a few select quotations. It took a while to get into the writing, but I don't think I'll soon forget the tension and despair in Mailer's narration.

Political application to the Iraq war?
Fondness for a country is all very lovely, it even is a morale factor at the beginning of a war. But fighting emotions are very undependable, and the longer a war lasts the less value they have. After a couple of years of war, there are only two considerations that make a good army: a superior material force and a poor standard of living.

All the frenetic schemings, the cigar smoke, the coke smoke, the carbolic and retch of the el, the frightened passion for movement of ant nest suddenly jarred, the hurried grabbing plans of thousands of men whose importance is confined to a street, a cafe, and there is no other sense than one of the present. History is remembered with a shrug; its superlatives do not match ours.

...every time I start an affair, I know how it's going to end. The end of everything is in the beginnings for me. It's going through the motions.

An aside: Did this inspire Go Fug Yourself, or is the recent pop culture adoption of Mailer's WWII argot mere coincidence?

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