Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Shooting star ...

... Norman Mailer still obsessed with WWII. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.) I had not realized how passe Mailer seems to have become.
But I have an uncharacteristic story to tell about Mailer. One of my best friends in college was a guy named Bill McLaughlin. He was tragically - I do not use that word lightly - killed in a car accident not long after we graduated.
Bill was the editor of the college literary magazine (I was the editor of the college newspaper.) Bill wrote to Mailer, then approaching the apogee of his fame, asking advice on how to pursue a literary career. Now understand that Bill and I were students at what was then a small Jesuit college. Mailer responded to Bill - and not briefly, but with long, expansive and encouraging letters. AAnd not with just one letter, but several. Pretty classy, I thought then - and still think now.

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