Welcome to Wednesday Writing Essentials. Today, November 14, FICTION, POETRY and MEMOIR will be FEATURED.
Â NOVEMBER 21:Â THANKSGIVING!
Thanksgiving is a harvest feast - so I would be interested in articles about Harvest Feast, Harvest Holidays - that could even be Oktoberfest - articles about your culture's festivals or holidays that involve food.
Thanksgiving Features, Giving Thanks, Articles about Food.
* Â Â Â Â * Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â
Ad now, a discussion of Norman Mailer. Â
On November 10, Norman Kingsley Mailer died in New York at 84 of acute renal failure, but his work lives on in the vast body of novels, screenplays, plays, and journalistic works he left.
Born Norman Kingsley Mailer (1923 - 2007) Norman grew up in New York of affluent parents. He studied aeronautical engineering at Harvard College, then served in WWII in the Phillipines.
Having published his first short story at age 18, Mailer chronicled his war experiences in 1948,Â in The Naked and the Dead, which won Mailer his first of three Pulitzer Prizes.Â The Naked and the Dead has been regarded as one of the best novels to arise from WWII, and the Modern Library has called it one of the Best 100 Novels in the English Language.Â
Mailer was known as one of the major literary influences of creative non-fiction of the 20th century, along withÂ Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, in a literary movement often referred to as New Journalism, a term which has been stretched into blatant fabrication in recent years.Â
In 1955, Mailer and two others began The Village Voice. In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from the National Book Foundation.
Â Norman Mailer
ÂIn his essays, Mailer explored themes of violence, hysteria, sex, crime and confusion in society, using both fictional and reportage methods. He was a frequent contributor of book reviews and essays in the New York Review of Books and Dissent.
Other works include The Presidential Papers, An American Dream, Why Are We in Vietnam, Armies of the Night (awarded his second Pulitzer and the National Book Award), Marilyn, The Executioner's Song, (his third Pulitzer prize) and most recently, The Castle in the Forest.Â
Mailer was known for his political activism and he covered both Republican and Democratic national conventions, and, in 1967, was arrested for his involvement in anti-Vietnam war protests.Â
Other controversial activites include his unsuccessful 1969 run for NYC mayor, along with columnist Jimmy Breslin, who ran for NYC Council President. Â
In 1980, Mailer was able to win parole for convicted killer Jack Abbott.Â Abbott, having read of Mailer's work in The Executioner's Song, wrote to Mailer and offered to enlighten him about the true state of prison life. Based on Abbott's series of letters to Mailer, Mailer helped publish In the Belly of the Beast.
Once paroled, however, Abbott stabbed to death a 22-year-old New York man, and Mailer was criticized for his role in helping Abbott win parole.Â Â
His biographical subjects have included, Marilyn Monroe,Â Pablo Picasso and Lee Harvey Oswald. His 1986 off-Broadway play Strawhead starring his daughter Kate in the title role of Marilyn Monroe.Â
Mailer was married six times and had several mistresses. He had eight biological children and one adopted child. For many years, he maintained a home in Provincetown, Massachusetts.
Â The Naked and the Dead cover, low resolution image
The Naked and the Dead was based on Mailer's WWII experiences and was made into a 1958 movie of the same name.
The novel is set in the South Pacific and deals with a single platoon of riflemen, containing several combat scenes, but mainly delves into psychological reality of the squadron.Â
The conflict is set up so that the officers and men but heads, with the result being that the novel questions the decisions of the officers and the outcome of military campaigns.Â
The Naked and the Dead was Mailer's first and most successful novel, firmly establishing Mailer as a literary giant of internatinoal repute.Â
The publishers of Mailer's first novel objected to his using the word "fuck" and substituted the word "fug" .
A quote, once attributed to Tallelulah Bankhead but later re-attributed to Dorothy Parker, was a great source of embarassment to Mailer, as Parker stated that Mailer could not spell, referring to his use of the word "fug" in his novel.Â The band The Fugs took their name from Mailer's novel.
* Â Â Â Â Â Â * Â Â Â Â Â * Â
PreviousÂ Wednesday's Writing Essentials, author bio/lit reviews:
*Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â Â *Â Â Â Â Â Â
To learn more about Gather's Writing Essential channel, please view these articles:
Writing Essentials by Pam Johnston VP Community Engagement
Meet the Writing Editors by Pam JohnstonÂ Â
Official Description of Writing Essentials by Jennifer Hodge, Gather Editorial Team
To join Writing Essentials, clickÂ Â HERE
* Â Â * Â Â *Â
Kathryn Esplin Oleski kathryneo.gather.com
Kathryn Esplin-Oleski was raised in Salt Lake City, but moved to Montreal with her family, where she finished high school and college. Kathryn has a BA in English Literature from McGill University and a Master of Science in Journalism (MSJ) from the Medill School of Journalism, at Northwestern University, in Evanston, Ill.
Kathryn's articles have appeared in The Montreal Gazette, The Globe and Mail, and Kathryn covered Utah politics at Medill from Washington, D.C. for The Ogden Standard-Examiner. She has also written on business, computers, health, living, education, arts, travel and books.Â
She freelanced for numerous computer/business publications, including a stringer story for Newsweek magazine on graft in the music industry.
Kathryn worked as a news/feature reporter, and Features Editor for International Data Group (IDG) for several years, and then continued to writing freelance computer/business articles.
Kathryn copyedited a technical book, Raggett on HTML 4.0, Second Edition, published by Addison-Wesley Longman, New York and London, 1998.
Kathryn's fiction, The Quill Speaks, was published in Pieceworks, in 2003.Â
Kathryn was a finalist in the Gather-Borders-Mitch Albom contest:"Times My Mom Stood Up for Me:" My Mom Stood Up for Me During the Last Days of My Childhood.Â