Baiocco's Reviews > The White Negro

The White Negro by Norman Mailer
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's review
Dec 10, 2007

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bookshelves: essays
Recommended for: Hipsters and Pschopaths

Norman Mailer can get a bit...tangential, and with a title like The White Negro this essay definitely had the potential to get "out there" but it was actually pretty easy to follow, minus a few trips to the dictionary for words like 'senescence' 'parvenu' and 'miscegenation'. The White Negro is basically a sociological study of Hip and Hipsters (more the Birth of Cool era jazz cats and small time hoods featured in the Beat Writings, but this essay is surprisingly relevant to the tight-jeaned aviators at night set scene smoking and taking digi photos for their blogs outside indie rock shows), an insightful, though unprofessional look at the Psychopath in society, and an incomplete examination of the American Negro rising up to be conservative and liberal America's worst nightmare. Maybe Tupac? not sure.

The Hipster stuff gets a little didactic, and I'm unclear as to who his audience is, but Mailer, as a known Pyschopath, has some really intersting insights into the condition of a Psychopath. One in which is the psychopath is truly a rebel without a cause, and though he may not know what Revolution he or she is endorsing, his or her actions are so involuntary and innately revolutionary that the Pychopath is often absorbed into movements larger than himself. Thus pychopaths make great presidents, lawyers and musicians. Hence Jim Morrison or Abbey Hoffman.

Fuck, this is two for two for me an Mailer. I may have to give his fiction a shot. damn.
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