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Norman Mailer on Ambition

In 1950, Norman Mailer commented as follows in a letter to William Styron:

?I didn?t write [The] Naked [and the Dead] because I wanted to say war was horrible, or that history is complex, resistant, and almost inscrutable, or because I wanted to say that the coming battle between the naked fanatics and the dead mass was approaching, but because really what I wanted to say was, ?Look at me, Norman Mailer, I?m alive, I?m a genius, I want people to know that; I?m a cripple, I want to hide that,? and so forth.?

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