Writing books is the closest men ever come to childbearing.— Norman Mailer
The most skyrocket Norman Mailer quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
A modern democracy is a tyranny whose borders are undefined;
one discovers how far one can go only by traveling in a straight line until one is stopped.
The function of socialism is to raise suffering to a higher level.
Khomeini has offered us the opportunity to regain our frail religion .
.. faith in the power of words.
Decade after decade, artists came to paint the light of Provincetown, and comparisons were made to the lagoons of Venice and the marshes of Holland, but then the summer ended and most of the painters left, and the long dingy undergarment of the gray New England winter, gray as the spirit of my mood, came down to visit.
There was that law of life, so cruel and so just, that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.
Any war that requires the suspension of reason as a necessity for support is a bad war.
America is a hurricane, and the only people who do not hear the sound are those fortunate if incredibly stupid and smug White Protestants who live in the center, in the serene eye of the big wind.
I was thinking that surgeons had to be the happiest people on earth.
To cut people up and get paid for it-that's happiness, I told myself.
Love asks us that we be a little braver than is comfortable, a little more generous, a little more flexible. It means living on the edge more than we care to.
I'm hostile to men, I'm hostile to women, I'm hostile to cats, to poor cockroaches, I'm afraid of horses.
With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance.
Reaching consensus in a group is often confused with finding the right answer.
The final purpose of art is to intensify, even, if necessary, to exacerbate, the moral consciousness of people.
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.
In America few people will trust you unless you are irreverent.
Bright was the light of my last martini on my moral horizon
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.
If a person is not talented enough to be a novelist, not smart enough to be a lawyer, and his hands are too shaky to perform operations, he becomes a journalist.
Harsh words live in the dungeon of the heart
A really good style comes only when a man has become as good as he can be.
Style is character. A good style cannot come from a bad undisciplined character.
We love those who can lead us to a place we will never reach without them.
One will feel the same subtle nausea coming into the city or waiting to depart from it that one feels now in such plastic catacombs as O'Hare's reception center in Chicago.
Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity, because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.
Psychoanalysis and Zen, in my private psychic geometry, are equal to nicotine.
They are anti-existential. Nicotine quarantines one out of existence.
I met Jack Kennedy in November, 1946.
.. We went out on a double date and it turned out to be a fair evening for me. I seduced a girl who would have been bored by a diamond as big as the Ritz.
Being a real writer means being able to do the work on a bad day.
The writer can grow as a person or he can shrink.
... His curiosity, his reaction to life must not diminish. The fatal thing is to shrink, to be interested in less, sympathetic to less, desiccating to the point where life itself loses its flavor, and one’s passion for human understanding changes to weariness and distaste.
Any workout which does not involve a certain minimum of danger or responsibility does not improve the body - it just wears it out.
There are these two kinds of patriotism.
There's blind patriotism, unflagging patriotism. And then there's the patriotism that says I live in a democracy and it's very important for the health and the life of this democracy that it get better all the time, not get worse.
Three miles long and two streets wide, the town curls around the bay .
.. a gaudy run with Mediterranean splashes of color, crowded steep-pitched roofs, fishing piers and fishing boats whose stench of mackerel and gasoline is as aphrodisiac to the sensuous nose as the clean bar-whisky smell of a nightclub where call girls congregate.
We sail across dominions barely seen, washed by the swells of time.
We plow through fields of magnetism. Past and future come together on thunderheads and our dead hearts live with lightning in the wounds of the Gods.
There is nothing safe about sex. There never will be.
Masculinity is not something given to you, but something you gain.
And you gain it by winning small battles with honor.
The mark of mediocrity is to look for precedent.
Growth is a greater mystery than death.
All of us can understand failure, we all contain failure and death within us, but not even the successful man can begin to describe the impalpable elations and apprehensions of growth.
Each day a few more lies eat into the seed with which we are born, little institutional lies from the print of newspapers, the shock waves of television, and the sentimental cheats of the movie screen.
Once a newspaper touches a story, the facts are lost forever, even to the protagonists.
The desire for success lubricates secret prostitution's in the soul.
Writer’s block is only a failure of the ego.
The women's movement is filled with tyrants, just as men's political movements are equally filled.
Culture's worth huge, huge risks. Without culture we're all totalitarian beasts.
I usually need a can of beer to prime me.
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.
Left-wingers are incapable of conspiring because they are all egomaniacs.
Chicago is the great American city, New York is one of the capitals of the world, and Los Angeles is a constellation of plastic; San Francisco is a lady
In my day the library was a wonderful place.
... We didn't have visual aids and didn't have various programs...it was a sanctuary.... So I tend to think the library should remain a center of knowledge.
I think it's bad to talk about one's present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension.
Hip is the sophistication of the wise primitive in a giant jungle.
What characterizes a member of a minority group is that he is forced to see himself as both exceptional and insignificant, marvelous and awful, good and evil.