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If Norman Mailer can be cancelled, no one is safe

Penguin has pulled the plug on a collection of his essays. This should chill us all.

by Tim Black

Norman Mailer (1923-2007) was a giant of 20th-century American literature. He was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, responsible for such classics as The Naked and the Dead. And he pioneered a new style of journalism, which revelled in and foregrounded the subjective experience and feelings of the writer. Yet none of that seems to matter to his long-time publisher, Penguin Random House, which has effectively just cancelled him.

[It] was shocking to learn this week that Penguin Random House has aborted its plans to publish a collection of Mailer’s political writings to mark the centennial of his birth next year. Seemingly this is because a junior staffer objected to the title of ‘The White Negro‘, his 1957 essay on hipster existentialism. This ought to chill the bones of anyone concerned about freedom today. Because if a figure as towering as Mailer can be cancelled, then no one, dead or alive, is safe.

To read the article, please, switch to the Spiked! website, January 10, 2022.

on 11.01.2022 at 12:35
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