The Best Norman Mailer quotes

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What do you think of when you hear the name Norman Mailer? If you are like most people, the first thing that comes to mind is his book The Naked and the Dead. But Mailer was much more than just a novelist. He was an accomplished journalist, critic, and biographer. In this blog post, we will take a look at the life and work of one of America’s most influential writers.

Discover the strongest Writers, Love, Time, Writing, Life, World quotes from Norman Mailer, and much more.


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About Norman Mailer

birth of the author

January 31, 1923

death of the author

November 10, 2007

occupation of the author

Essayist, Columnist, Poet, Playwright

country of the author


college of the author

Alma Mater:
Harvard University

date of the author



It takes all kinds to make a world. โ€” Norman Mailer

We are all so guilty at the way we have allowed the world around us to become more ugly and tasteless every year that we surrender to terror and steep ourselves in it. โ€” Norman Mailer

There’s a subterranean impetus towards pornography so powerful that half the business world is juiced by the sort of half sex that one finds in advertisements. โ€” Norman Mailer

There is no greater impotence in all the world like knowing you are right and that the wave of the world is wrong, yet the wave crashes upon you. โ€” Norman Mailer

it takes all kinds to make a world Norman Mailer quote

The feeling of joy came up in me again the way the lyric of a song might remind a man on the edge of insanity that soon he will be insane again and there is a world there more interesting than his own. โ€” Norman Mailer

The Irish are the only men who know how to cry for the dirty polluted blood of all the world. โ€” Norman Mailer

I could not begin to mourn Deborah or my mind would ride off with me. There was nothing so delicate in all the world as one’s last touch of control. โ€” Norman Mailer

The highest prize in a world of men is the most beautiful woman available on your arm and living there in her heart loyal to you. โ€” Norman Mailer


Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing. โ€” Norman Mailer

writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing Norman Mailer quote

The difference between writing a book and being on television is the difference between conceiving a child and having a baby made in a test tube. โ€” Norman Mailer

Writing can wreck your body. You sit there on the chair hour after hour and sweat your guts out to get a few words. โ€” Norman Mailer

Alimony is the curse of the writing class. โ€” Norman Mailer

Writing for a newspaper is like running a revolutionary war. You go to battle not when you are ready, but when action offers itself. โ€” Norman Mailer

Only another writer can know how much damage writing a novel can do to you. It’s an unnatural activity to sit at a desk and squeeze words out of yourself. โ€” Norman Mailer


So long as you use a knife, there’s some love left. โ€” Norman Mailer

The paradox is that no love can prove so intense as the love of two narcissists for each other. โ€” Norman Mailer

Love was love, one could find it with anyone, one could find it anywhere. It was just that you could never keep it. Not unless you were ready to die for it. โ€” Norman Mailer

I guess all that’s left is to love the fire. โ€” Norman Mailer

One thing I’ve learned in all these years is not to make love when you really don’t feel it; there’s probably nothing worse you can do to yourself than that. โ€” Norman Mailer

so long as you use a knife there s some love left Norman Mailer quote

Then comes the left jab again. A converted southpaw? It has something of the shift of locus which comes from making love to a brunette when she is wearing a blond wig. โ€” Norman Mailer

There is a no man’s land between sex and love, and it alters in the night. โ€” Norman Mailer

There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be. โ€” Norman Mailer


When the time comes, they won’t ask what kind of a Jew you are. โ€” Norman Mailer

Redundant Thematics

In Norman Mailer Statements


There is something silly about a man who wears a white suit all the time, especially in New York.’ (on Tom Wolfe) โ€” Norman Mailer

when the time comes they won t ask what kind of a jew you are Norman Mailer quote

Mike Lee writes with honesty, penetration, wit and the ability to surprise the reader with an unexpected turn from time to time that enriches the experience. โ€” Norman Mailer

Every time I move I squash something said Loathesome. โ€” Norman Mailer


Writers don’t have lifestyles. They just sit in little rooms and write. โ€” Norman Mailer

Let every writer tell his own lies That’s freedom of the press. โ€” Norman Mailer

Since great writers communicate a vision of existence, one can’t borrow their methods. The method is married to the vision. โ€” Norman Mailer

writers don t have lifestyles they just sit in little rooms and write Norman Mailer quote

You can’t be a serious writer of fiction unless you believe the story you are telling. โ€” Norman Mailer

Amateurs… venture into scenes that a writer with more experience (and more professional concern) would bypass or eschew altogether. โ€” Norman Mailer

Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day. โ€” Norman Mailer


I don’t think life is absurd. I think we are all here for a huge purpose. I think we shrink from the immensity of the purpose we are here for. โ€” Norman Mailer

Certain kinds of honor could not be lost without demanding that one consecrate oneself thereafterโ€“no matter how unsuited and unpreparedโ€“to a life of revenge. I โ€” Norman Mailer

There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same. โ€” Norman Mailer

Just as a fighter has to feel that he possesses the right to do physical damage to another man, so a writer has to be ready to take chances with his readers’ lives. โ€” Norman Mailer

At the end of medicine is dope; at the end of life is death; at the end of man may be the Hell which arrives from the vanities of the mind. โ€” Norman Mailer

Because there is very little honor left in American life, there is a certain builtโ€“in tendency to destroy masculinity in American men. โ€” Norman Mailer

Wasting Life?


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