David Hanly meets the double Pulitzer Prize winner Norman Mailer who talks about his life and work.

Norman Mailer reveals though he wanted to be a 'great American Writer', he didn't believe that would happen when he was a Harvard student.

Mailer believes more than ever now in his previous assertion 'a writer of the largest dimension can alter the nerves and marrow of a nation' and elaborates that, 

As state of the technology becomes more and more advanced people become either more vapid or more loutish. I think Western civilisation is approaching an odd crisis of a sort that no one foresaw. Which is the world of the future will bring us all these technological miracles and at the same time the people wielding the machines will get less and less interesting. I think that may well  get to the point where they won't be able to do arithmetic before it is all over.

On the responsibility of a writer he feels,

The writer has one obligation to extirpate self pity on himself or herself ... it is endemic to too many artists ... it spoils them, sours them, embitters them, keeps them from doing their work

During the interview Mailer explains to David Hanly why he has a black cloaked cadaver created by his stepson Matthew Mailer in his New York home.

Norman Kingsley Mailer (1923 – 2007) wrote fiction and non-fiction works and founded The Village Voice in 1955. He is best known for his novels The Naked and The Dead (1948), The Executioner's Song (1979), and Armies of the Night (1969).  

This episode of 'Hanly's People' presented by David Hanly and broadcast on 06 June 1991.