New Norman Mailer novel about Hitler's youth comes complete with bibliography





At the end of Norman Mailer’s new 467-page novel, “The Castle in the Forest,” after the acknowledgments page on which he thanks his assistants, archivist, editor, publisher, wife, agents and German teacher, Mr. Mailer tacks on another flourish: an alphabetical list of 126 authors and titles that enriched the book.

Never mind asking how “Anna Karenina” and “Paradise Lost” could have influenced “The Castle in the Forest,” a fictionalized account of Hitler’s boyhood to be released next month. What’s a bibliography doing in a novel?

“It’s terribly off-putting,” said James Wood, the literary critic for The New Republic. “It would be very odd if Thomas Hardy had put at the end of all his books, ‘I’m thankful to the Dorset County Chronicle for dialect books from the 18th century.’ We expect authors to do that work, and I don’t see why we should praise them for that work. And I don’t see why they should praise themselves for it.”


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