Private: Joycean; Mailer’s doodlings

For Irish writers, says Darren Reidy, a comparison to James Joyce “is both laurel and millstone.”

Alexander Zaitchik loathes the doodlings contained in Norman Mailer’s Modest Gifts: Poems and Drawings:

Norman Mailer’s line-drawing portraits are not good. They are victimless crimes. If the book didn’t open with a coherent preface, Modest Gifts would be a fair basis for assuming the 80-year-old Mailer is in the grips of Alzheimer’s, or a severe and unreported right-hemisphere stroke.

An excerpt from Mailer’s introduction is available on the Random House site.