The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing

The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing

by Norman Mailer
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The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Dr_Wilson_Trivino More than 1 year ago
Norman Mailer sky rocketed to the literary world in his classic The Naked in the Dead. However he admits in his book The Spooky Art he might not have been ready to be part of that rung yet. In a reflective work, Mailer candidly shares his struggles to have a follow up work. He also into some his inner demons. He sets up the chapters as part confessional and part imaginary question and answers. This work seems to be a therapy sessions, each one going deeper and deeper into unlocking that mystique that makes up a great writer. This book is entertaining and insightful for anyone who wants to peek inside one writer’s brain.
Darkloom More than 1 year ago
Mailer takes himself very seriously, that is if this work is any indication of who he is. Young writers might very well be scared away from the profession by the self-indulgent ramblings of such a famous writer of what some consider a few of the best novels ever written. Well, young male writers. This work is definitely of no particular use to female writers and was never meant to be. It bears no resemblance to a how-to book on writing and one can hope that those young male writers who read it don't get the idea that taking drugs, womanizing, foul language, and other macho attitudes are what it takes to succeed.

Sometimes getting into the mind of another writer does not help to endear his work to readers or writers. It can be a frightening ordeal and make one wonder how good fiction ever came out of such an ego.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This collection of writing about writing is another autobiographical work on the life and trials of the number one self proclaimed great American novelist Norman Mailer. Special consideration is given to it as the probable swan song of a character who has been a major American literary presence for close to sixty years. Like so much of Mailer there is real genius mixed up with nonsense and idiosyncracy . I think the greatest criticism I would have is the feeling given that despite all the words about so many different things, Mailer's essential subject has been ' Mailer and the Great American Novel endlessly attempted and never really written' Along with that I personally feel a deep alienation from Mailer's way of seeing the world , his value- system. I don't just mean the radical socialism but also the emphasis on machoism, and what might be called sensual triviality. But if I think not about the negative, but about Mailer's virtues I would say the following: He is a true original and his writing has a power and flow at times which can take the reader truly to a better place- and he is a thinker also whose great insights are often surrounded by incomprehensible musings. Mailer is a missile often off mark, but one capable of sailing through great distances with beauty and strength. One of his themes and one of American literature's themes is of the great promise of youth, and of the lost gift, and of the sense it could have been done so much better and been so much greater. Mailer does leave the reader with that feeling. But as he comes close to the end there is too an appreciation for certain truly wonderful passages he has written( In Armies of the Night, and certainly in ' The Naked and the Dead' and scattered throughout. ' When he was good he was very very good '