The Hyper-Masculine Norman Mailer

Just because a man’s dead is no reason to think well of him. Joan Smith writes in the Guardian:

Mailer did not actually kill any of his wives (unlike the French philosopher Louis Althusser, who strangled his), but he stabbed his second wife twice in the neck and his fourth accused him of beating her. His fascination with hyper-masculinity drew him to boxing; it also resulted in tragedy when Mailer was instrumental in securing the release of a convicted killer, Jack Abbott, who then stabbed a waiter to death.

Yes, the Jack Abbott matter was quite disgraceful, a classic case of self delusion (on Mailer’s part). Did a similar self-delusion perhaps afflict Mailer’s third wife? Famous writers can get away with anything, it would seem…