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Norman Mailer

Two Pulitzer Prizes

I must say in my years at Harvard I spent more time reading American novelists than I was ever able to do again. I think I probably read every good American novelist there was at that time. I was also very open at the time, so I could see all the merits of someone like J.P. Marquand, some of the semi-good writers, you know? Not semi-good -- semi-major writers. I loved Thomas Wolfe, another example of excess, simple excess. Excess that was available to a young man in the way -- Faulkner's excess was much more sophisticated. You know, it would omit some -- all -- of his baroque complexities. There was his deep sense of tragedy and waste. Waste at a very high level. So, it was the most exciting time in my life and I think if you can't get excited by writing when you are a young writer, you really should question whether you want to be a writer.
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Norman Mailer

Two Pulitzer Prizes

There's no use pretending that at the age of 25 I was a tried and true professional who knew what he was doing. Nonetheless, probably half the people who read me think The Naked and the Dead is my best book, because it has many of the qualities that a marvelous novel written by an amateur can have. It's open, it's daring, it's not afraid to take chances. It takes chances all over the place. More of them succeed than fail. It's not bound by the rigors of style. Once you become a professional, style becomes very important to you. It's the way professional models wouldn't dream of going out in public improperly dressed, by their lights. It's part of who they are. And so, in a certain sense, once you become a true professional, style is part of what you are. You wouldn't turn out a piece of sloppy prose, not anymore. When you're an amateur it's the excitement of writing is so marvelous. There it is! The words are coming out! You don't really pay attention to where the words are that good and where they're that bad. You don't have the experience to judge yet. So in that sense, yes, The Naked and the Dead was a book by an amateur.
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Norman Mailer

Two Pulitzer Prizes

Norman Mailer: Like most other young novelists I was essentially shy and not purposive, and not forward leaning, so to speak. I was like a bird up on a branch observing activity. I was a wonderful observer in those days, compared to now. What happens is, once you become successful suddenly, you grow from a bird to a lion in a very short period of time, but you don't feel like a lion. So it's pretty awful in a certain sense to be a lion who is not feeling like a lion. In other words, you're having an identity crisis. And, as I've said in my book, The Spooky Art, it took me something like 20 years to realize that if I had become a literary lion, that was now part of my true personality. I was not a fraud. Willy nilly, whether I wanted it or not, I had become a literary lion. I had learned to live like one, and I had made all the mistakes of a literary lion, and I could begin to feel like a professional. But, it took 20 years perhaps to get to that point.
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Peyton Manning

Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

Peyton Manning: I think character is what you're doing when nobody else is around. To me, that's the best way that I know to describe it. Are you the right kind of guy? Do you have the right things inside of you? Do you love the game? Like I said, would you play for free in the NFL? Obviously, I wouldn't tell my owner that, but I would. I think you want to be around those kind of guys, guys that love it, guys that are thinking about it. They always say, "Don't take your job home." When you go home, don't take it. I don't agree with that. I think if you love what you do, there is nothing wrong with being home with your family and thinking about the game that Sunday, or thinking about, "I might need to do this." That means you love it. That doesn't mean you're obsessed with it. That doesn't mean that your priorities are out of whack. That means you love what you do. I think it has a lot to do with the character of the guys that you have on your team.
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Peyton Manning

Super Bowl Champion Quarterback

Peyton Manning: I don't totally know. That's one of those buzz words that's just kind of been created. That's the big thing, when guys are coming out of the draft and the analysts are breaking him down, they say, "Well, he's got the physical part. I'm not sure if he has the intangibles." Well, give us a list of something. Tell me you need something. You hear the term "the sixth sense" and "in the pocket," or "He can run, but you have to feel these guys rushing you," and there's something to that. I guess that would be an example of an intangible. Do you just feel something? Do you feel somebody about to hit you? Do you slide up or do you slide the other way?
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Wynton Marsalis

Pulitzer Prize for Music

Wynton Marsalis: Well, I always equated rock with something social like meeting girls, and stuff. I never equated it with music. So, I would be on the bandstand, and the music itself was all right, but I had also heard my daddy and them play. So, I knew what was going on our bandstand -- playing rock -- wasn't what was going on his bandstand. Also, I had played with orchestras, and I definitely knew what was going on an orchestral bandstand was not what went on on our rock bandstand. There is a lot of debate about how "It's just music," and all this stuff that people talk now, if you stand on all those different bandstands on a certain level, you know that it's not all just music. It's something very different that goes on in all of those instances. It's like, if you go in a club to hear Coltrane play, or you go into one of these clubs down on 42nd Street and take in a burlesque show, well it's a club and you are going out, but it's very different. But jazz, it's just the soul of it and also the intellect of it. To listen to John Coltrane when he start playing. I'd come home and put that Coltrane record on, "Cousin Mary" would be playing, just the sound in that music. I'd be pantomiming like I was a saxophone player, just listening to 'Trane, that type of cry that he had in his sound. And, I wanted to make somebody feel like how that made me feel listening to it. And, Clifford Brown and Miles Davis, when he was playing jazz, early Miles, I would listen to Clifford, just the way he could play, the style of the music, the feeling of it, the whole lifestyle, the whole jazz. It was all in my mind then. Even though my father was a musician, he was my father. I didn't look at him like anything but my father. But, on these records then I could hear just a pride, a something, a dignity. They had a nobility to it, a profundity. I just wanted to be part of it, even though it didn't exist in my era.
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