The excellent New York magazine has a short piece on Norman Mailer and his homosex scenes in his new novel about Hitler’s childhood, The Castle in the Forest.
“Young ‘Adi’ has an older brother who puts ‘his happy blood-filled organ’ into the ‘yearning lips’ of an elderly beekeeper and whose buttocks ‘feel like the portals to a bounteously endowed temple.’” Yearning lips? Were they puckered or parted? Did he go phwoar. Details, Norm, details. And isn’t the blood-filled cock bit tortologous? What else would it be filled with? Diesel? And organ? COCK, Norman, COCK. Only Private Eye is an organ these days. The temple simile for the arse has a certain baroque fragrancy I suppose, but buggery is very hard work (I am told) so I should have opted for “bounteously endowed sweat shop". Yes, sweat shop, that’s it. He plainly hasn’t had his backside cherry popped yet, but at 84 never say never, Norm. Just don't forget the KY.
“So what’s changed? Was it firsthand research? ‘You have to cross the Rubicon to do that [and] I didn’t feel comfortable doing that,’ [Mailer] says. ‘But then I thought, Come on, it’s not that hard to imagine what it’s like’” Is there some safety in his age? ‘Oh, yes. When you’re younger, it takes more courage to be brave. You can lose so much. It’s enjoyable to be brave now, whereas when I was younger it was hairy and sweaty.’
Goodness, anyone would think he was contemplating a suicide bombing. Many years ago Norm said he could never have queer sex because it would destabilise the masculine-feminine see-saw on the fulcrum of his creativity, or something like that. What he meant was he didn’t want to turn into a nancy boy and not write big butch books anymore. Norm's always worn his COCK on his sleeve. He also had odd ideas about having a specific quota of orgasms in a lifetime and these were not to be wasted, though maybe that had more to do with the importance of fecundity. Waste not want not. I love these made-up superstitions: the building blocks of all religion. In his old years Norm appears to have loosened up a bit though whether he had to write a novel about Adi and his brother’s organ in a beekeeper's yearning gob to demonstrate this remains to be seen.
Many early reviews are favourable. “Mailer paints an icy and convincing portrait of the dictator as a young sociopath, both prissy and sadistic, simultaneously sentimental and stupendously cruel.” - EW.com
“The new book is lascivious, grandiose, cosmically critical (finding something Teutonic in technology and touting it as the Devil's own handiwork) and cantankerous, filled with grandstanding pronouncements on the nature of evil.” - The New York Times.