Saturday, December 2, 2017
On Rereading Norman Mailer’s The Prisoner Of Sex, So Far Part 1
I just finished the first part of The Prisoner Of Sex, The Prizewinner.
I first read the book about 50 years ago.
It came up again in an article by Judith Shulevitz on Kate Millett and her book Sexual Politics, which slags Mailer and which Mailer answers in his book. Shulevitz, whom I like, gives her the nod over Mailer.
I remember particularly thinking Mailer’s literary criticism in in his book was superb. But I knew even less then than I do now.
I wanted to reread Prisoner Of Sex, which I thought was great when I read it way back when, to see if I still favoured it.
So I just started it.
I don’t know what to make of the first part. It confuses me. It’s way wordy, way self obsessed, roundabout, with some obscure expressions the meaning of which got by me, yet playful, and not not engaging—I use a double negative because the engagement, such as it is, co-exists with mild impatience and bits of not getting what he’s saying. Overall, so far, I’m sort of liking it, but I’m wondering what’s the point of all its oddness.
I’ll read on.