On Other Pages

In this special issue of Salon, legendary literary heavyweight Norman Mailer takes on the contenders and pretenders of "hyperfiction."

Mailer: He has always known the word could not desert him, unlike these others, these puling milkfed boys who could never go a single round against any real talent without inspiring hoots and catcalls, these oh-too-clever blank generation poseurs playing their endless games of literary exhaustion as if someone somewhere could possibly care. Exhausted? Who? Maybe whoever these kids call mom and dad, in whatever bleary-eyed midnight accident they managed somehow to conceive... He is unable to read this trash, singularly and curiously incapable of developing even a fleeting engagement with this bastard screed that calls itself prose pasted prissily across a glorified TV tube. Why? Staring at the stuff gives him a dull ache. It makes him yearn to go, to make, to fill once again the gaping universal void. He wants to seek out some fine old page and make rough love to it...