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On God: An Uncommon Conversation

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Average Rating
Publisher:
Random House Publishing Group
Pub. Date:
2007
Language:
English
Description
A towering figure in American literature, Norman Mailer has in recent years reached a new level of accessibility and power. His last novel, The Castle in the Forest, revealed fascinating ideas about faith and the nature of good and evil. Now Mailer offers his concept of the nature of God. His conversations with his friend and literary executor, Michael Lennon, show this writer at his most direct, provocative, and challenging. "I think," writes Mailer, "that piety is oppressive. It takes all the air out of thought." In moving, amusing, probing, and uncommon dialogues conducted over three years but whose topics he has considered for decades, Mailer establishes his own system of belief, one that rejects both organized religion and atheism. He presents instead a view of our world as one created by an artistic God who often succeeds but can also fail in the face of determined opposition by contrary powers in the universe, with whom war is waged for the souls of humans. In turn, we have been given freedom--indeed responsibility--to choose our own paths. Mailer trusts that our individual behavior--always a complex mix of good and evil--will be rewarded or punished with a reincarnation that fits the sum of our lives. Mailer weighs the possibilities of "intelligent design" at the same time avowing that sensual pleasures were bestowed on us by God; he finds fault with the Ten Commandments--because adultery, he avers, may be a lesser evil than others suffered in a bad marriage--and he holds that technology was the Devil's most brilliant creation. In short, Mailer is original and unpredictable in this inspiring verbal journey, a unique vision of the world in which "God needs us as much as we need God." From The Naked and the Dead to The Executioner's Song and beyond, Mailer's major works have engaged such themes as war, politics, culture, and sex. Now, in this small yet important book, Mailer, in a modest, well-spoken style, gives us fresh ways to think about the largest subject of them all.
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ISBN:
9781588366955
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Grouping Information

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Grouping Title on god an uncommon conversation
Grouping Author mailer norman
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2018-12-13 04:46:41AM
Last Indexed 2018-12-13 04:51:24AM

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author Norman Mailer
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display_description "I see God," wrote Norman Mailer, "as a Creator, as the greatest artist. I see human beings as His most developed artworks." In these moving, amusing, and probing dialogues conducted in the years before his death, Mailer establishes his own system of belief, rejecting both organized religion and atheism. He avows that sensual pleasures were bestowed on us by God; he finds fault with the Ten Commandments; and he holds that technology was the Devil's most brilliant creation. In short, Mailer is original and unpredictable in this inspiring journey, in which "God needs us as much as we need God."

Praise for On God

"[Norman Mailer's] theology is not theoretical to him. After eight decades, it is what he believes. He expects no adherents, and does not profess to be a prophet, but he has worked to forge his beliefs into a coherent catechism."New York

"The glory of an original mind in full provocation."USA Today

"At once illuminating and exciting . . . a chance to see Mailer's intellect as well as his lively conversational style of speech."American Jewish Life

"Remarkable . . . [Mailer's] a believer—in his own fashion. . . . He has made [God] into a complex character."The Globe and Mail

Praise for Norman Mailer

"[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation."The New York Times

"A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent."The New Yorker

"Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure."The Washington Post

"A devastatingly alive and original creative mind."Life

"Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance."The New York Review of Books

"The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book."Chicago Tribune

"Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream."The Cincinnati Post
From the Hardcover edition.
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title_display On God
title_full On God An Uncommon Conversation
title_short On God
title_sub An Uncommon Conversation
topic_facet Essays, Literary Criticism, Nonfiction, Religion & Spirituality