Cover art for podcast Open Source with Christopher Lydon

Open Source with Christopher Lydon

51 EpisodesProduced by Christopher LydonWebsite

Christopher Lydon in conversation on arts, ideas and politics

37:31

Norman Mailer Turns 100

“Don’t forget” is a mantra in our shop: “don’t forget” specially the characters, the moments that made us. Norman Mailer is the spirit-seeker and sometimes reckless truth-teller we are un-forgetting in this podcast. We are summoning Norman Mailer in his hundredth-birthday season, what could be his revival time, to tell us what happened to his country and ours. Mailer lived and wrote it all: 40 books of eagle-eyed fact and fiction. First as a soldier in the Philippines, in the 1940s; then: epic poet of the Sixties in America; eventually as a celebrity and popular artist of Duke Ellington or Frank Sinatra proportions.

J. Michael Lennon, Chris Lydon, and John Buffalo Mailer.

Sinatra taught us love songs, Mailer read the maelstrom of our American dream life to us. The premise in our conversation is that Norman Mailer, 15 years after his death, is still speaking to his country. Certainly to John Buffalo Mailer, youngest of seven sons and daughters, co-editor with J. Michael Lennon of a Mailer distillation for 2023, titled A Mysterious Country: The Grace and Fragility of American Democracy.

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