Because they say so

posted by Nick Hornby November 6, 2008 at 2:27 pm Books , ,

I read the two passages below on consecutive days. The first is a piece of dialogue from an embittered woman novelist called Elaine who appears in Meg Wolitzer’s razor-sharp novel about literary sexual politics, ‘The Wife’; the second is from a Norman Mailer letter to Don DeLillo in 1988.

“But the men with their big canvases, their big books that try to include everything in them, their big suits, their big voices, are always rewarded more. They’re the important ones. And you want to know why?…..Because they say so.”

“I think you’re fulfilling the task we’ve just about all forgotten, which is that we’re here to change the American obsessions—those black holes in space—into mantras that we can live with.”

Good luck with that, Don and Norman.