The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

When Legends Gather #326

Günter Grass and Norman Mailer

(gargantuan thanks to Hanan Levin of growabrain for this image of literary winter)


Stacia said...

Wow. I saw him on an episode of "Gilmore Girls" which was in 2004, and on an American Masters special in 2006, and he looked nothing like this. His health must have failed very quickly.

Tom Sutpen said...

This was taken at a NYPL event earlier this year, which was also broadcast on C-SPAN. I'm not sure why the organizers let the program go on, frankly. Mailer was in noticeably poor health (his voice quavered, C-SPAN had to cut the amount of time it took to help him on and off the stage, etc). Were it not for Grass doing his 'So what if I was in the Waffen SS? I thought everybody knew' routine, it would have been utterly depressing rather than intermittently so.

Wait . . . Mailer did a guest shot on 'Gilmore Girls'??

Vanwall said...

Yeah, I was amazed he was on that show, and he did creditably well. Not the kind of author I would've thought they were referencing thruout the show's run, but it added some spice.

Stacia said...

Yes, the episode was even called "Norman Mailer, I'm Pregnant". They didn't work Mailer into the plot very well, but he did a pretty good job of acting.