norman mailer. on style.

“I got a sense of the power of restraint from Hemingway, which is the smallest way to put it, because I got much more than that from him. I learned the power of simple language in English. He showed what a powerful instrument English is if you keep the language simple, if you don’t use too many Latinate words. And from Faulkner I learned the exact opposite, that excess can be thrilling, that, “Don’t hold yourself in. Don’t rein yourself in. Go all the way. Go over the top. Overdo it.” And between the two, it’s almost as if you’ve now been given your parameters. This is the best of one extreme and this is the best of another. And somewhere between the two you may be able to find your style in time to come.”

– Norman Mailer Interview, The Academy of Achievement, June 12, 2004

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