The lion silenced. Norman Mailer roared over the literary scene forever and now he's gone. He spat out words like the boxers he so loved sprayed punches, but no more. He ran for mayor of New York City, and he could have been mayor of the world. He talked shit and wrote like an angel. A son of Harvard he enlisted to be a combat grunt in WWII so he could get material, and it worked.The Naked and the Dead made him the Dave Eggers of "the greatest generation" and that's something. Fiction proved less strange than his own life so he injected bluster, bravado, and brilliance into journalism. He knifed his second (of six) wife and she forgave him. He was conned into springing a murderer from prison because the guy could turn a sentence. And made you think this wasn't a crazy equation. And always with the punching. Why? Because to him words mattered and life mattered and novels mattered and a certain vision of America as the bright shining tattered house on the hill mattered. Call it the curse of "the greatest generation." That's why Mailer mattered. - Ken Krimstein
Mr. Krimstein is a writer, cartoonist, father, and grump who lives in New York City. So there.