Re: RARA-AVIS: Old, New, Borrowed, Blue...

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 25 Aug 2003

And Norman Mailer, in his NYRB review of Tom Wolfe's novel
_A Man in Full_, started by quoting from one of his own books...

What ensued was very funny, because Wolfe, of all people, made the mistake of arguing with his critics (not only Mailer but Updike and John Irving). Not only that, but he actually published an *essay* attacking his critics. The man has no class (well, Horowitz tried to argue with music critic Virgil Thomson...).

What's funny to me is that Mailer's review was exemplary
(apart from quoting himself) and praised Wolfe's work while pointing out that his characters were superficial, an
*obvious truth* to anyone who has read the book slowly. He also called him a reporter.

By the way, the story of _A Man in Full_ would have made a great hardboiled novel, a much shorter one. What Wolfe should have done is research it, give it to Mailer to write and have Updike do the editing. What a loss.

Best regards,


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