I just got Norman Mailer’s 1955 novel The Deer Park.
They’re calling it the best ever written about Hollywood.
And in the passing fire of his imagination, he made up my answer across the miles and had me say good-bye to him, “For you see,” he confessed in his mind, “I have lost the final desire of the artist, the desire which tells us that when all else is lost, when love is lost and adventure, pride of self, and pity, there still remains that world we may create, more real to us, more real to others, than the mummery of what happens, passes, and is gone. So, do try Sergius,” he thought, “try for that other world, the real world, where orphans burn orphans and nothing is more difficult to discover than a simple fact. And with the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists, the small trumpet of your defiance.”
Did you know that Mailer coined the term factoid?
A term created by Norman Mailer in 1973 for a piece of information that becomes accepted as a fact, although it is not actually true; or an invented fact believed to be true because it appears in print. Mailer wrote in Marilyn: “Factoids … that is, facts which have no existence before appearing in a magazine or newspaper, creations which are not so much lies as a product to manipulate emotion in the Silent Majority.” Lately, factoid has come to mean a trivial fact. That usage makes it a contranym (also called a Janus word) in that it means both one thing and its opposite, such as cleve (to cling or to split) or sanction (to permit or to punish).
I’ve really got to get some more Janus words going.
I think cheezel might be one. Simultaneously delicious and gross.
(Illustration by Clay Rodery)