Saturday, November 10, 2007

Overlooking the obvious

Quoting again the New York Times (and Jason Epstein) to make a point about how the ordinary intellect operates:
"...A few weeks after being released, in June 1981, Mr. Abbott, now a darling in leftist literary circles, stabbed to death a waiter in a Lower East Side restaurant, and his champion [that is, Norman Mailer] became a target of national outrage...

The episode was the last great controversy of Mr. Mailer’s career. Chastened perhaps, and stabilized by what would prove to be a marriage with Ms. Church, a former model whom he wed in November 1980, Mr. Mailer mellowed and even turned sedate. The former hostess-baiter and scourge of parties became a regular guest at black-tie benefits and dinners given by the likes of William S. Paley, Gloria Vanderbilt ... His editor, Jason Epstein, said of this period, 'There are two sides to Norman Mailer, and the good side has won.'"

Epstein's evaluation is just silly, and yet who would question his point until it was pointed out that what happened to alter Mailer's behavior, was not -- that his good side won -- what happened to Mailer was that his hormones calmed down as he aged. Of course it is no credit to me to have noticed this bald fact, Jan Cox used examples like this often.

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