The Case of Norman Mailer – Mailer’s Life and Legacy
Special thanks go to the reviewers of the monograph. Thank you. 7Let’s say that in my lifetime, certain things have gotten better and other things have grown worse, so much so that latter-day events would stagger the imagination of the 19th century. If, for example, the flush toilet is an improvement in existence, if the automobile is an improvement, if techno- logical progress is an improvement, then look at the price that was paid. It’s not too hard to argue that the gulags, the concentration camps, the atom bomb, came out of technological improvement. For the average person in the average developed country, life, if seen in terms of comfort, is better than it was in the middle of the 19th century, but by the measure of our human development as ethical, spiritual, responsible, and creative human beings, it may be worse. The English language has hardly been improved in the last half century. Young, bright children no longer speak well; the literary artists of 50 and 100 years ago are, on balance, superior to the literary artists of today. The philosophers have virtually disappeared — at least, those philosophers who make a difference. Norman Mailer, Michael Lennon. On God: An Uncommon Conversation. New York: Random House, Paperback edition, 2008, p. 7
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