Ancient Evenings

Ancient Evenings

Norman Mailer / Oct 22, 2020

Ancient Evenings 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 and his wife Queen Nefertiti Menenhetet t

  • Title: Ancient Evenings
  • Author: Norman Mailer
  • ISBN: 9780446321099
  • Page: 184
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • 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 and his wife, Queen Nefertiti Menenhetet, their creature, lover, and victim and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion Mailer s reincarnated protagonist is carried through theNorman Mailer s dazzlingly rich, deeply evocative novel of ancient Egypt breathes life into the figures of a lost era the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Rameses and his wife, Queen Nefertiti Menenhetet, their creature, lover, and victim and the gods and mortals that surround them in intimate and telepathic communion Mailer s reincarnated protagonist is carried through the exquisite gardens of the royal harem, along the majestic flow of the Nile, and into the terrifying clash of battle An extraordinary work of inventiveness, Ancient Evenings lives on in the mind long after the last page has been turned.

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      Posted by:Norman Mailer
      Published :2020-07-11T04:17:34+00:00

    About "Norman Mailer"

      • Norman Mailer

        Norman Kingsley Mailer was an American novelist, journalist, essayist, poet, playwright, screenwriter, and film director.Along with Truman Capote, Joan Didion, and Tom Wolfe, Mailer is considered an innovator of creative nonfiction, a genre sometimes called New Journalism, but which covers the essay to the nonfiction novel He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize twice and the National Book Award once In 1955, Mailer, together with Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf, first published The Village Voice, which began as an arts and politics oriented weekly newspaper initially distributed in Greenwich Village In 2005, he won the Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters from The National Book Foundation.


    1. Beyond any doubt, Mailer can write: witness the incredibly vivid, disorienting, existentially-inebriated explosiveness of a Nile-nourished soul's rupturing reincarnation within fleshly garb that opens Ancient Evenings. This was so well done that my hopes for the thickish remainder was nigh unbounded. Alas, Mailer also cannot seem to discipline himself, and his voluminous story progressively spirals into sheer authorial indulgence, almost as if all thoughts of the patient reader accompanying such [...]

    2. Ancient Evenings is a thoroughly unpleasant novel – in it Norman Mailer almost sadistically admires all sorts of violence and atrocity. If he were an Egyptian deity he surely wouldn’t have been Thoth or Horus, he would have been Seth or Anubis. So the novel may be considered as Norman Mailer’s historical Fleurs du Mal or some tenebrously romantic Totentanz… The is a highly poetic song Islands of the Dead by Be Bop Deluxe:Come with me to the fire festival, let us burn each other blind. Le [...]

    3. As the reviews below suggest, this will be a 1 star or a 5 star for you, but unlikely to be anything much in between. I adore Mailer - for his cockiness, his absolute conviction of his own brilliance, for the sentences whose structure make me drop my jaw and laugh, for insight, and for buggery. Who else could write a sprawling Egyptian epic stuffed with filth of roaches and make it so thoroughly mine? I love this best of all he's written and think about it more than the rest combined. God help m [...]

    4. In a recent post on my blog, I spent a good deal of time discussing how ancient Egypt receives a disproportionate amount of popular attention as far as classical history goes. And then I promptly began reading a novel by Norman Mailer set in ancient Egypt. I learned about Ancient Evenings (and a number of other extremely interesting books) from a post by Wilfried Houjebek on the original and worthwhile site SpaceCollective. Houjebek describes it this way: "[Ancient Evenings] is the autobiography [...]

    5. The recent news aboput Mailer being on his deathbed reminded me of my one and only attempt at reading his stuff. I must have gotten through at least the first third of this book but godalmighty pretty much just an excuse for vivid descriptions of buggery, buggery, and incest. Also, buggery.Dude has issues.

    6. Oh, what the fuck, Norman. You've completely lost it.I respected The Naked and the Dead very much. A true epic of the Pacific War, no question. This is something by a different person entirely. Now, in his later career, he just seems to be fascinated with shit - literally. The historical novel about Hitler seemed to have too much rambling rants about piss in it. I refuse to read too much into his personal life, but this almost seems fetishistic.Aside from that, I've always had a fascination for [...]

    7. ¨Drifting drifting¨So insists the man with the pus-filled eye,even if he is about to be given a severe thrashing by a boatman who violently disagrees. But it is a good way to approach this massive,astonishing work of historical fiction that spans dynasties. It is also indicative of NM´s tendency to mingle the repulsive and the sublime, and in so doing he weaves a rich and vivid tapestry of reality that we can taste and smell and almost touch.No matter that some of the details are sorely askew [...]

    8. ANCIENT EVENINGS is so many things. It's one of the greatest gay love stories ever written, for one-- something that is downplayed by reviewers in favor of a categorical dismissal of the novel as merely "endless descriptions of sodomy." The tempestuous love between Ramses II and Menenhetet I forms the core of the novel, couched in a complicated, beautiful framing device that resembles Proust as much as THE ARABIAN NIGHTS. It's also an arty fantasy/ sci-fi epic in the manner of DUNE-- supernatura [...]

    9. Fantastically detailed and colorful, truly a literary masterpiece yet maintaining Mailer's personality, as if he were narrating with a wink and grin.

    10. This is an odd one.This is, I think, what Stephen King was trying to say about writing even big books across the length of a season and no longer. Few authors can pull off greatness when it comes to projects they hold on to for too long. They get complicated, overly dense, they hold onto passages that should be snipped out, they forget the eureka moment that spurred the author to write them, they suffer from Will Self’s everything-itis.Heller was successful with Something Happened and likely o [...]

    11. I can only tell you my experience of the book.It was knocking on the door of greatness. The beginning was staggering, and I was floored by the musicality of its sentences, its startling imagery, and the depth of thought that made these ancient Egyptians remind me, as others before me, of aliens in a science fiction novel – that is, the past is an alien world. I was having an encounter with this novel, like you have with extraterrestials or great beasts. This reached its pitch with the Battle o [...]

    12. 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 diasporas , persecutions, genocides, successes and setbacks, with the concluding edition of this fictional saga being somewhere in the future , in outer space, with the eyes of the protagonist trained outwards still. As [...]

    13. Bloated and exhausting, this is still an exhiliratingly perverse phallocentric psychodrama as set in the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt. Not as sharp or original as Mailer's fiction (and non-fiction) of the 60s, it manages to hit some heights amidst its 700-plus pages: the hallucinatory opening in which a soul screams through rebirth, a boat trip down the Nile, and the Satyricon-esque Battle of Kadesh. Personally I prefer more of Mailer's magic (mind-reading, reincarnation, curses) than his soap o [...]

    14. Okay, so people either love Mailer, or hate him; after dragging myself through "Ancient Evenings", I now hate him as well as love him.I am fascinated with Ancient Egypt and (usually) blown away by Norman Mailer, so I was really looking forward to this book. And it started well - brilliantly, even - with a beginning that keeps the reader on their toes with some crafty twists that somehow incorporates Egyptian mythology with today's sensibilities.But then.But then the book degenerated into a self- [...]

    15. Really Norman? An anal & incest fetishist's interpretation of the whole Osiris myth? Not only is that disrespectful to Egyptians, but obscene to people who care about mythology. I didn't care to read it long enough to find out if Menenhetet was just putting his own filthy twist on the myth, or if Norman really thought it was ok to have their Gods corn-holing each other just because Egyptian pharaohs wanted to keep their genes pure by copulating with their own family. This ghastly choice of c [...]

    16. A startling work of creative imagination.Norman Mailer - love him or hate him - had a mastery of the language that very few could rival. It is apparent in all his works, including "Ancient Evenings", which takes place at a variety of Egyptian locales, from royal dinners to family barge rides, from distant mining camps to tombs. Much of the story is told in flashback, much of it recited by a ponderous old man. The highlights of the book are:a) Mailer's immense knowledge of the age. I adored Ancie [...]

    17. Though the first ninety or so pages of this book outmatch a bit for stylistic and gutsy integrity the remaining six-hundred, the critical treatment of /Ancient Evenings/ still seems largely unfair. One of the things I admire most about Mailer as a writer is the fact that he really does write very well, and in a style that could almost be called metaphysical, matching the poets like Marvell and Donne who are sometimes grouped together under that same textual adjective. Like the metaphysical poets [...]

    18. A literary pornographic slasher flick.Made it up to pg. 380 and quit. I can't take it anymore. The beginning few parts were interesting and original, and here and there parts would sparkle off the page, making me sob that I shall never write so well. But! That said: the main thread of this entire book is a pre-adolescent boy listening to his parents and great-grandfather speak with the Pharaoh (while his mother tries to seduce the Pharaoh) about lots of lively topics like blood-drinking, canniba [...]

    19. No me ha gustado nada. Desde el principio ya lo encontré a raro. Me costó varios capítulos cogerle el hilo al tema y ubicarme en la historia.El estilo en el que está escrito no me parece atractivo y la traducción creo que tampoco ayuda.La historia en si podría ser buena pero se lía demasiado y se enturbia tanto que en muchos momentos me ha parecido bastante sucio el modo de describir situaciones y hechos.Aún no siendo novela histórica creo que tendría que tener más rigor con los nombr [...]

    20. You really shouldn't read this book unless you are in the mood for something totally different.As for me, when I turned 16 I decided to start reading "serious literature" and so I went to the library, walked past my beloved fantasy/sci-fi shelves, and ended up in the fiction section. Somewhat randomly, I chose "Ancient Evenings" by Norman Mailer. Why? I didn't put too much thought into my choice (because I figured I'd have to read it all in the end anyway) but I associated Mailer with 60's writi [...]

    21. L'antico Egitto messo in scena dalla penna di Mailer si presenta con una veste inusuale: se l'immagine più comune che se ne ha in genere è quella delle mummie immerse nei sarcofagi in uno stato di sospensione eterna, dei reperti archeologici e delle pitture tombali sui muri delle piramidi, dal racconto della vita - delle molte vite in realtà - di un alto funzionario vissuto ai tempi della X dinastia, Menenhetet, emerge un'immagine molto diversa dal solito.Il romanzo si apre proprio con la sce [...]

    22. When we pierce deeply into human nature we find more filth than glory. So this novel seems to assert.There is a cynicism to this book, a raw disdain for humanity that doesn't bother hiding in the subtext. It stains the page, and it can be difficult to read. The main character is born into the world multiple times, and the world never changes, not really. Not where it would count.The story is told via frame. Menenhetet is offered a prestigious and powerful position by the pharaoh. Instead of just [...]

    23. One of the silliest books ever written by a writer possessed of some genius. I think it was at this book that I gave up on Mailer. It became more interesting to consider why he had gone off the tracks than to read him. I still think he would have been a great appointment to the Supreme Court.

    24. After so long a time in putting it off, the tale is now complete. There's some exceptionally vivid writing here, some that I'm sure has been put to more consistent usage in Mailer's output - as this was my first encounter (don't do this, please), I can only guess as to his power in writing. The scope of it, all gargantuan and fecund with shit and malady, is epic on the level of myth making, but - and here's the but - its scope sometimes is inconsistent with the very nature of its storytelling. T [...]

    25. The ancient stars shine down on the newly built pyramids. A scribe sits by the banks of the Nile, quill in hand above a new sheet of papyrus. You wait with baited breath to see what tale he will write down. A story of the construction of some of the most famous architecture in the world? Court politics? Nation building struggles? Daily life of a long gone world??NOPE!Dear Penthouse, he scrawls in a wavy line birds and eyes performing improbable sexual gymnastics, I never thought it would happen [...]

    26. O capodoperă. Nu înțeleg de ce a primit recenzii mixte, dar preponderent negative la apariție. Este cartea prin excelență a unui mare scriitor, un efort colosal, care a implicat probabil o muncă de documentare extraordinară. Nu-mi vin alte atribute decât "titanic", "uriaș", "formidabil", pe măsura lui Ramses cel Mare. O carte genială, a unui autor genial, conștient pe deplin de genialitatea sa, de unde și aroganța de a crea o asemenea frescă a Egiptului antic, cum nu apare în ma [...]

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