Ancient Evenings: A Novel [Norman Mailer] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of. Norman Mailer’s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era: the eighteenth-dynasty Pharaoh Rameses. 10 Apr ANCIENT EVENINGS By Norman Mailer pp. Boston:Little, Brown & Co. HERE it is at last, morethan a decade in the making, the subject of.

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I read this twice If pain is fundament, then a blade of grass can know all there is. I have actually become so curious regarding the breadth of Mailer’s research that I anccient a couple of academic histories about ancient Egyptian society and culture.

There rvenings a spirit bird that was coming for the protagonist, and he was sort of worried about it. Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.

Oct 06, Caitlin rated it it was amazing Shelves: Uno spettro vagola nella necropoli di Giza: Literary pyrotechnics captured me, but still have no clue what it is about. As it happens, Mailer was so engrossed in the profound mysteries of Egyptian religious ritual, culture and mythology that he never made past the river Nile.

Want to Read Currently Reading Read. There is a cynicism to this book, a raw disdain for humanity that doesn’t bother hiding in the subtext. It’s an unintentionally hilarious tale of mysticism and royal bloodlines in ancient Egypt, a grandly misguided folly in the best traditions of Mailer. Male Egyptian soldiers casually rape male Abyssinians, and there isn’t even a hint of modern morality. Jun 13, David rated it it was amazing.

CXXI, April 18,p. Want to Read saving…. Oct 25, Bryn Hammond rated it liked it Shelves: Mailer has given the novel a story-within-a-story narrative structure reminiscent of The Thousand-and-One Nights. It’s highly idiosyncratic, explores many abstract or challenging themes, and takes no pains to explain itself until it feels the time is right.


Ancient Evenings Analysis

This article needs additional citations for verification. A true epic of the Pacific War, no question. As indicated above, we do begin with our protagonist Menenhetet’s ka, or vital spark – that essence which distinguishes the living from the dead – as he awakens in an Egyptian necropolis and realizes he is dead but cannot remember who he was.

It deals with the lives of two protagonists, one young, one old, in a very alien Ancient Egypt marked by journeys by the dead, reincarnationand violent and hyper-sexual gods and mortals in a complex combination of historical fiction, allegory, poetic flight, confession and spiritual meditation.

In honour of this, I forgive him his brutish nasties and give him the full five stars for his luxurious,exquisite writing and his unboundable imagination.

Catch of the day: Norman Mailer’s worst book

Ancient Evenings is set in ancient Egypt BC but an element of its other-worldliness does seem to spout, near-plaintively, from Brooklyn Heights AD. History is no less a sanguinary myth than all those bloodthirsty mialer scatological deities that dwelt in the heads of our ancient forefathers.

I just dated myself. Is pain the fundament?

Compiling a list of Mailer’s euphemisms for the penis would yield a monotonous, if periodically amusing, read. For instance, Menenhetet speaks using a lot of similes and analogies, often quite ponderously.

The highlights of the book are: If modern man could experience the very birth of consciousness, then perhaps his awareness of all things, or of how human consciousness participates in all things, would mitigate the overpowering sense of alienation that pervades twentieth century literature.

It’s a battle in which the Egyptian army defeats the Abyssinians I think and afterward proceeds to rape all the defeated soldiers. Would I enjoy volume 1 of that expanded book more than I enjoyed this? View all 10 comments.


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It is a treat to go along with an author or filmmaker while they portray these lesser attended worlds and their inhabitants. As Mailer once remarked that his intention with writing Ancient Evenings was to compose a long sequence of novels telling the history of the Jewish people through the experience of one family, beginning in Ancient Egypt before the arrival of Christ, onward through time past various diasporaspersecutions, genocides, successes and setbacks, with the concluding edition of this fictional saga being somewhere in the futurein outer space, with the eyes of the protagonist trained outwards still.

Mailer definitely crafts female characters with more agency than round-mouthed blow-up dolls, but the drives of their sexuality still seem to mimic the drives of men. Looking for More Great Reads? It is possible that ancient Egypt simply resembles our own time and place in this respect, but I rebel against this thought. Norman Mailer – love him or hate him – had a mastery of the language that very few could rival.

Ancient Evenings – Wikipedia

And so jailer and so forth. This was so well done that my hopes for the thickish remainder was nigh unbounded. I had already noticed that he never has women raped.

It is this tale that opens our eyes to the despicable traits of our ancestors, and maybe ourselves by the inheritance of heredity. God help me if I can tell you exactly why. July 6,p.

I can only imagine Mailer found it so, or he wouldn’t have spent so many hundreds of pages writing about it. In his other writings, Mailer has View all 6 comments.