Saturday, February 10, 2007

Bainbridge on Mailer

Beryl Bainbridge, who wrote a novel titled Young Adolf in 1978, reviews Norman Mailer's latest, The Castle in the Forest, in the Guardian.

The first paragraph of the review--
Modern thinking would have us believe that no one is born bad. An infant doesn't come into the world endowed with a predisposition towards cruelty and murder; such base attributes are down to parental influences, chance circumstances and economic factors. Norman Mailer's electrifying and peculiar new novel provides a different explanation, that of the intervention of the forces of evil.
--and the last:
On the last page Mailer reveals the meaning of his book's title. Translated into German it becomes Walderschloss, a name given to their hell-hole by the inmates of the concentration camp at Dachau. This unforgettable novel by a master of prose reinforces the belief that we kid ourselves if we lay the blame for hideous crimes on one single individual, even if it is the devil. We are all culpable.
The juicier parts are in between: read the entire review.

--Marshal Zeringue