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Written In Gritty, Journalistic Detail, The Story Follows An Army Platoon Of Foot Soldiers Who Are Fighting For The Possession Of The Japanese Held Island Of Anopopei Composed In , The Naked And The Dead Is Representative Of The Best In Twentieth Century American Writing I read this long, long ago and none of the story or characters have stayed with me What is left is an impression of a war so gritty and dirty that one feels disgusted I remember one character having some sort of kidney problem, with attendant stomach ache and blood in urine for me, this has become the defining image of war Also, the last sentence Hot dog by a soldier contemplating possible furlough I think Mailer achieved what he intended, at least with me. Us readers have no homes, like unnoticed birds we perch anywhere, like the most disturbed stalkers we go through anybody s underwear drawer, like vicious tax gatherers we audit everyone, the writers especially, their creatures the characters very particularly, and hanging between all three of us, the book It sits there in its cover We ticket, we note, we award, with our eyes, brains and stars We scribble in the margins to the outrage of future readers well, I do, maybe you do not do that I never mind if someone has previously done that So I have looked out of Humbert Humbert s paedophiliac eyes, I overheard the good man Jesus and the scoundrel Christ, I declined and fell with Paul Pennyfeather and I closely observed Molly Bloom in her bed for at least three hours, she didn t notice a thing It was like I wasn t there With Jeanette Winterson I too grew up in a crazy Christian cult, and like others before me I could not stop Merricat Blackwood from her pyromania whatever I did Well, you could all say similar things Our acceptance of the thousand varieties of human beingness is almost limitless We are promiscuity itself The Naked and the Dead is not really about World War Two, or about war in general, it s about looking through the eyes of men, a whole bunch of them, sleeping with them, eating with them, drinking, pissing and fighting with them In this novel, the thing to have is a penis The testosterone floweth through this novel as doth the Ganges through India And I just couldn t do it I didn t want to go through all this painful stuff with a bunch of assorted blokes constantly eating, farting, sleeping, waking, yakking, being blown up or not, writing letters, bragging, playing poker, theorising banally about women and on And on.Because there are a thousand characters, Mailer provides each with a description round the time they are introduced Such as He was a little over medium height, well fleshed, with a rather handsome sun tanned face and graying hair His expression when he smiled was very close to the ruddy, complacent and hard appearance of any number of American senators and businessmen, but the tough good guy aura never quite remained There was a certain vacancy in his face, like the vacancy of actors who play American congressmen Well, after several descriptions like this everything blurs together and you realise why Catch 22 works so well because in that war novel everyone is a cartoon, no painful attempt at ultra realistic detail at all, so Milo Minderbinder, Major Major, Colonel Korn and the rest remain intact in the memory years later But really, me trying to read ND was doomed to failure It could have been a good one, I guess, you never know until you try, heck I ve liked some funny things in my time But the signs were not good 1 I am ferociously biased against novels written by 24 year olds and any novels written by anyone under 30 Writing novels is like the opposite of pop music Evelyn Waugh has squeaked by Decline and Fall and I guess you have to give Mary Shelley the nod too, then there s Dickens of course.ok, ok, MOSTLY I don t think people under 30 can write a good novel Norman Mailer is no Mary Shelley, and he would have been the first to admit that.2 I hate war stories Hamburger Hill, Platoon, From Here to Eternity, I avoid them all I did watch Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line and like, that s enough.3 I thought I should read this because I was reading Norman Mailer s biography which is VERY ENTERTAINING but I just always wanted to be finding out what happened to NORMAN next not the boys in the jungles of Anopopei I can tell this is really a heck of an accomplishment, he commands his material fearlessly, ther s no holding back, he s a right know it all, and somebody needed to do a big honest novel about men in WW2 which could be set beside the big thumpers from WW1 there won t be any great novels coming out of WW3 So, for me this was a 2 star experience from a 4 star novel, abandoned a little shamefacedly but with relief. The General had once said to him, I like chaos, it s like the reagents foaming in the beaker before the precipitation of the crystals It s a kind of savory to me To generals war is a theatre and a battlefield is a stage so they can admire the scenes of bloodbath from afar The Naked and the Dead is Norman Mailer s best novel and it is the best American book about war The Naked and the Dead is a merciless and extremely graphic novel but what the hell, war knows no shame and no pity.Now that truth in literature has been replaced with political correctness the book is rarely read All the deep dark urges of man, the sacrifices on the hilltop, and the churning lusts of the night and sleep, weren t all of them contained in the shattering screaming burst of a shell, the man made thunder and light He did not think these things coherently, but traces of them, their emotional equivalents, pictures and sensations, moved him into a state of acute sensitivity He felt cleaned in an acid bath, and all of him, even his fingertips, was prepared to grasp the knowledge behind all this War bares all human fears and shows human beings as they are War turns man naked then it turns man dead Brothers in Arms.Beh, passato un bel po di tempo da allora, da quando ho finito di leggerlo.Ma se ancora adesso mi ricordo di loro, se ogni tanto, quando guardo un film in cui si parla anche di guerra, di quella guerra, mi ritrovo a pensare alla storia di Hearn, di Red, di Wilson, di Roth, di Brown, di Gallagher, di Croft e di tutti gli altri se dopo tutti questi mesi ancora ricordo i loro nomi e non riesco a togliermi dagli occhi l immagine della montagna, dell isola del Pacifico di Anopopei immersa nella foschia, del caldo appiccicoso, della pioggia e del fango se sento ancora il peso della barella portata a spalla e il respiro del nemico giapponese nascosto dietro ogni curva del sentiero e della giungla se ancora ricordo tutto questo e insieme a tutto ci che li ha uniti dal giorno in cui la guerra ha messo insieme il plotone , ricordo anche le loro storie, una per una, cos come Mailer a solo ventiquattro anni le ha raccontate, affinch il suo romanzo non fosse solo un romanzo che raccontava di una guerra vissuta in prima persona, delle battaglie e delle conquiste, della vita al fronte e delle sconfitte, dei giochi di potere e di quelli di squadra ma anche, attraverso la macchina del tempo che si contrappone alla diretta della guerra, con quelli che io ho definito durante la lettura, gli inserti di vita , con i quali, un po alla volta ci fa conoscere, in maniera pi approfondita, i singoli personaggi il ritratto delle tante citt , dei tanti Stati, dei tanti americani, tutti diversi per classe sociale, razza e colore, che a quella guerra si affacciavano colmi di speranze, delusioni, miserie, ricchezze e desideri di rivincita.E se tutto questo vero, e lo , ed ancora cos vivo dopo tutto questo tempo in cui ho aspettato di scrivere un commento a Il Nudo e il morto perch volevo lasciarlo decantare per capire meglio cosa fosse e cosa avesse significato per me se poi me ne sono dimenticata, e poi, alla fine, me ne sono ricordata, e dimenticata ancora, finch oggi arrivato il giorno per scriverlo, e adesso, finalmente, posso dire che questo libro, questo romanzo, questo best seller, davvero un capolavoro E che nessuno lo definisca un libro di guerra , perch dentro c molto di pi la guerra si fa istituzione totale , e un romanzo in cui, pur narrando di guerra e di morte, si riesce a sentire il brulicare della vitaCi sono solo due elementi fondamentali Una nazione combatte bene in rapporto al numero di uomini che ha a disposizione E l altro fattore dell equazione che il singolo soldato un elemento migliore se ha vissuto in condizioni miserevoli prima di arruolarsi La necessit pi profonda dell uomo l onnipotenza S Non la religione, evidente, non l a, la spiritualit questi sono tutti contentini, premi che ci creiamo da soli quando i limiti della nstra esistenza ci allontanano dall altro sogno Raggiungere Dio Quando veniamo al mondo siamo Dio, e il confine dei nostri sensi l universo E crescendo, quando scopriamo che l universo non siamo noi, viviamo il trauma pi profondo dell esistenza Croft fissava la montagna L inviolato elefante che dominava sulla giungla e le misere colline.Era pura e lontanissima, Nella luce del tardo pomeriggio era di velluto verde, di roccia azzurra e di terra chiara, una materia diversa da quella di cui era fatta la giungla Beh, tanto ti possono ammazzare una sola volta Splendida anche l introduzione, scritta da Norman Mailer nel maggio del 1998, a cinquant anni dalla pubblicazione E cos , a me Il nudo e il morto piace ancora Ha i suoi pregi e i suoi difetti, ma ha senz altro un salubre, forse anche stimolante, tocco di compassione tolstojana che mi permette di coltivare speranza per tutti noi le rarissime volte che mi guardo indietro e ne rileggo qualche pagina.Lasciatemi quindi credere che sia possibile trovarvi un bel po di speranza qualora lo si legga per intero.http youtu.be jhdFe3evXpk