The Spooky Art Some Thoughts on Writing Writing is spooky There is no routine of an office to keep you going only the blank page each morning and you never know where your words are coming from those divine words In The Spooky Art Norma

  • Title: The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing
  • Author: Norman Mailer
  • ISBN: 9780394536484
  • Page: 265
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Writing is spooky There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words In The Spooky Art, Norman Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it Addressing the reader in a conversational tone Writing is spooky There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words In The Spooky Art, Norman Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer s craft Mailer explores, among other topics, the use of first person versus third person, the pressing need for discipline, the pitfalls of early success, and the dire matter of coping with bad reviews While The Spooky Art offers a fascinating preview of what can lie in wait for the student and fledgling writer, the book also has a great deal to say to advanced writers on the contrary demands of plot and character, the demon writer s block, and the curious ins and outs of publishing Throughout, Mailer ties in examples from his own career, and reflects on the works of his fellow writers, living and dead Twain, Melville, Faulkner, Hemingway, Updike, Didion, Bellow, Styron, Beckett, and a host of others In The Spooky Art, Mailer captures the unique untold suffering and exhilaration of the novelist s daily life and, while plotting a clear path for other writers to follow, maintains reverence for the underlying mystery and power of the art.From the Hardcover edition.

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    About "Norman Mailer"

    1. Norman Mailer

      Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.

    787 thoughts on “The Spooky Art: Some Thoughts on Writing”

    1. “Just as a fighter has to feel that he possesses the right to do physical damage to another man, so a writer has to be ready to take chances with his readers’ lives.”― Norman Mailer, The Spooky Art With The Spooky Art seasoned novelist Norman Mailer, by certain accounts “the American Tolstoy,” a fact he doesn’t mind repeating in these pages, offers his hard won wisdom and sage advice on writing and everything else that touches on the literary; correction, make that touches on subje [...]

    2. My review ran in the San Jose Mercury News on February 2, 2003:As a student, I once found myself part of a group trying to make conversation with a writer-in-residence, Bernard Malamud. The talk reached several dead ends before Malamud mentioned that he had been asked to submit nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature. Were there any American writers we thought worthy? ''Well,'' I said hesitantly, ''what about Norman Mailer?'' There were some groans and hisses from other students, but also [...]

    3. Norman Mailer, author of the acclaimed vampire trilogy, Naked and the Dead, Armies of the Night and Ancient Evenings gives tips on the art of writing spooky literature, even as he weighs in with his two cents on Fake News and the eternal Tolstoy vs. Dostoevsky debate. Mailer also thinks Jonathan Franzen spends too much time Internet surfing in his own private"Wonkville Hollow", and that rather than waiting to be ethereally kissed by The Muse, a proper novelist should "make the bitch moan". That' [...]

    4. THE SPOOKY ART is classic Mailer, meaning, if you take what he says with a grain of salt you'll have a great time reading this book. He veers from cockiness to humility, from misogyny to pride, regret, bitterness, and nearly incomprehensible mysticism, all the while ragging on journalists, poets, and his fellow writers. He's also critical of his own work. The prevailing mood, in fact, of this book is regretful: Mailer believes his generation failed to produce a great novel that defined America. [...]

    5. This is not a book on writing. It's a collection of random, mostly tedious and arrogant, thoughts Mailer had for like three years then duped someone into publishing. I could talk to a drunk MFA student for an hour and get the same insights.

    6. Es un libro que disfrute a bocaditos. Lo tuve 4 meses en el buró y me ayudaba para atragantarme o laxarme del ambiente literario mexicano. ES un gran libro de anécdotas pero sería un error que alguien pensara que la visión privilegiada de un autor privilegiado escribiendo en condiciones privilegiadas se parece a los avatares de la literatura de, por ejemplo, la mayoría de los escritores mexicanos.

    7. I’ve read many books on the craft of writing. The most interesting ones are memoir types, the sort of books that don’t deal just with the mechanics of writing, publishing, marketing, training, etc but that examine the psyche of the writer, the struggles and pains of writing a book and creating art as your life’s work. And quite frankly I don’t have the stomach to read a book about writing by a writer I have never heard of. I want to hear war stories and advice from the masters, the heroe [...]

    8. I enjoyed this quite a bit -- much more than I've enjoyed most of Mailer's fiction, honestly.Mr. Mailer's career arc is fairly unique in that he became a nationally famous author at a young age -- and for a book that, by his own admission, was amateurish in parts. Still, The Naked and the Dead was a novel that the country needed at the time, and Mailer was lucky/talented enough to take advantage.Of course, delivering a follow-up without the benefit of sure-to-interest material was another animal [...]

    9. This had interesting bits but a lot of it was really boring (chapters on the unconscious, film, television, and the occult, for example) and I skimmed about one third of the book. Just like with his fiction, his thoughts on writing, on himself, on other authors, can be fascinating, or not so much. Some of the material here had been published elsewhere, and some material is new. It's presented not chronologically but thematically, so a particular chapter will bring in snippets decades old as well [...]

    10. I'm normally not a fan of greatest-hits aphorisms patched together to provide a new revenue stream for its author. But it's a pretty good quilt! The first part will be more near and dear for everyone -- basically Mailer's thoughts on writing arranged according to theme. Argue with it, sure, but you won't be bored. Less adroitly stitched together is the second half, in which Mailer is allowed to grab the mic to pontificate on less intriguing corollary topics (Film, The Occult, Television) in more [...]

    11. Part One was strong and moved along quickly, even held my attention long past the time of night when I should have given up trying to read coherently. Part Two, unfortunately, did not, dragging interminably. I found myself skimming through quite a bit of the second half, until I got the section regarding influential writers, which redeemed Part Two somewhat and allowed Mailer to end on a higher note.

    12. What can I say? It's Mailer. Very erudite,but he has a tendency to ramble off the subject of "thoughts on writing" to famous people he has met and his experiences in life.

    13. The books starts out with a satisfying overview of Mailer's career, told confidentially and confessionally with a reasoned mix of pride and careful modesty that eventually evinces distrust, as if Mailer has invited you into his home and noticing small details betraying artificiality, dustless corners and off-scale windows, styrofoam columns and perhaps a ceiling painted to resemble the sky, maybe like an Epcot Center boulevard or a Las Vegas restaurant, you ask the obvious question does this old [...]

    14. Mailer writes in a casual, back-room-of-a-bar style about what he thinks are the biggest psychological challenges facing writers and how he dealt with those over the course of his long up-up, down-down literary career. The one quality he seems to believe writers need more than any other is stamina. “It’s as difficult to become a professional writer as a professional athlete. It often depends on the ability to keep faith in yourself. One must be willing to take risks and try again.” He also [...]

    15. Mailer wrote this just before he turned 80. It provides valuable insights into his life and the writing life in general. Although it gets self-indulgent at times, his descriptions of the creation of his work are fascinating. His premise is true. Fiction writing is a spooky art. Thanks, David Morrell for the recommendation.

    16. It is not surprising that Norman Mailer's collection of essays presents clearly stated positions on various matters which are, for the most part, of interest to practicing writers, but most likely not to the general reading public, with the exception of Mr. Mailer's fans. Mr. Mailer sustains his positions with his considerable arsenal of rhetorical devices, but in 2014 most of the contentious issues, such as D.H. Lawrence's attitude toward women, which were at white heat when the essays were ori [...]

    17. Norman Mailer is one of those very few, very rare, very intimidating authors whose writing makes you want scream with joy and knock your head against the wall at the same time. I mean, he was in his early 20's when he wrote "The Naked and The Dead" -- which was his first novel and which won him a Pulitzer prize. Yeah, it just ain't fair to the rest of us hacks. I found myself almost grieving as I read "The Naked and The Dead", and I babbled, "Why do I even try?" And years later, he came up with [...]

    18. I've never read any of Norman Mailer's fiction; my basic knowledge of Mailer has been as a literary presence. A fan of Mailer's writing might have an entirely different take on this book, since (in part) he discusses various difficulties he encountered while writing his various books. Dince I write non-fiction, I wasn't exactly sure what Norman Mailer had to teach me. But I discovered that although writing fiction and non-fiction seem to be entirely different processes, yet as both are creative [...]

    19. Okay. The man has some great “thoughts” in places. Not so good in others. The chapter on film is not enjoyable. Some nuggets: “Consciously or unconsciously, writers must fashion a new peace with the past every day they attempt to write. They must rise above despising themselves” (71).“Plot comes last. I want a conception of my characters that’s deep enough so they will get me to the places where I as the author have to live by my wits. That means my characters must keep developing. S [...]

    20. Reading Mailer's letters—and none of his other books as yet—was enough to convince me that he was a writer of rare talent, so the idea of reading his thoughts on writing was attractive. But "The Spooky Art" is a meandering tome that collects Mailer's conversationally presented thoughts not just on writing, which only represent about a third of the book, but on any number of subjects topical and universal. Most are essays that were published elsewhere, abridged and revised with prefaces and a [...]

    21. Pretty good. Mostly enjoyable. I've not yet read any of Mailer's novels (and how odd that I would finish this mere days after his passing!), but I figured a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning author would probably have a lot to say about writing. He did, as well as having a few really sharp insights into Life.Less enjoyable were times went he went off on other tangents, like the chapters on journalism (not very interesting, and rather dated) and film (his thoughts on which are somewhat INSANE). His [...]

    22. okay, I did not know Norman Mailert I was familiar with that name. (Probably came across him while preparing for Net exam.) Well, it certainly was a brilliant work on writing. Writing is tough, and when I was rather young I thought I was a great novelist,( young writers Ego they call that), I love the way I could relate to his writing, and most importantly learnt a plethora of things regarding writing. It is not a novice writer, but for people who have experience writing books. If you are seriou [...]

    23. Generous, empathetic guidance from The General. The prolific Mailer notoriously hits and misses in equal measure. Here it fearlessly happens paragraph to paragraph, but he still speaks with authority. He can, because he has it. You can talk about the shameless self-mythologizing or the shameful wife-stabbing, but no one can say that Norman Mailer cannot write. The insights are shocking and the hard truths are embedded throughout the pages. Where Can Wisdom Be Found? Right here. Puts "A Moveable [...]

    24. Mailer’s insight to the spookiness of the “work” of writing is, at times, meandering and kooky, but ultimately hits home on some major points. Avoiding his digressions on films and other topics, this book was extremely helpful in making me feel comfortable about taking risks with my writing in order to tell the best story possible. The book seems to offer more insight than advice, but it definitely touched upon many of the aspects of writing that are difficult to explain to those outside o [...]

    25. Not super impressed. Most of the book revolved around his reflections on casual sex. Most memorable (not in a good way) was his considered opinion that the best cinematic moment ever recorded was the sound of a woman's panties being ripped off. He was serious. Unless you enjoy a great deal of casual sex, subscribe to Mailer's beliefs about the truth and beauty in such encounters, and want to make those encounters the frontispiece of your writing, this book will be of little practical inspiration [...]

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