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 :: 1923-, American Author

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A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined; one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.
~ Norman Mailer - [Democracy]

 

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America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.
~ Norman Mailer - [Complacency]

 

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Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain built-in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men.
~ Norman Mailer - [Honor]

 

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Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.
~ Norman Mailer - [Lies and Lying]

 

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Every moment of one's existence one is growing into more or retreating into less. One is always living a little more or dying a little bit.
~ Norman Mailer - [Change]

 

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Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child.
~ Norman Mailer - [Photography]

 

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Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle.
~ Norman Mailer - [Sophistication]

 

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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 - [Writers and Writing]

 

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I usually need a can of beer to prime me.
~ Norman Mailer - [Motivation]

 

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I'm hostile to men, I'm hostile to women, I'm hostile to cats, to poor cockroaches, I'm afraid of horses.
~ Norman Mailer - [Insecurity]

 

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If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist.
~ Norman Mailer - [Journalism and Journalists]

 

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In America all too few blows are struck into flesh. We kill the spirit here, we are experts at that. We use psychic bullets and kill each other cell by cell.
~ Norman Mailer - [Violence]

 

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In America few people will trust you unless you are irreverent.
~ Norman Mailer - [Irreverence]

 

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Left-wingers are incapable of conspiring because they are all egomaniacs.
~ Norman Mailer - [Liberals]

 

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Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain. And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.
~ Norman Mailer - [Men]

 

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Once a newspaper touches a story the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.
~ Norman Mailer - [Newspapers]

 

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One's condition on marijuana is always existential. One can feel the importance of each moment and how it is changing one. One feels one's being, one becomes aware of the enormous apparatus of nothingness -- the hum of a hi-fi set, the emptiness of a pointless interruption, one becomes aware of the war between each of us, how the nothingness in each of us seeks to attack the being of others, how our being in turn is attacked by the nothingness in others.
~ Norman Mailer - [Drugs]

 

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The desire for success lubricates secret prostitution's in the soul.
~ Norman Mailer - [Desire]

 

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The difference between writing a book and being on television is the difference between conceiving a child and having a baby made in a test tube.
~ Norman Mailer - [Television]

 

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The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.
~ Norman Mailer - [Arts and Artists]

 

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