Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Mailer, Arbus, and that grenade

Norman Mailer, 1963, by Diane Arbus

Norman Mailer: "Giving a camera to Diane Arbus is like putting a live grenade in the hands of a child." 

I've seen that quote in two reviews of a new biography of Arbus. Unclear what it means, I had to see pictures she took of Mailer for clues. Mailer has nothing to complain about with the one above, but the one below is another story, as it shows Mailer as a jerk in a "manspreading" pose. 

Maybe that's when the grenade exploded for Mailer. I bet it's a pose Arbus didn't ask for:



At 8:06 PM, Anonymous sfthen said...

most likely that quote is alluding to her famous photograph of a boy with a grenade.

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Yes, but why would Arbus with a camera be comparable to child with a live grenade, not a toy grenade? I suspect that Mailer knew he looked like a jerk in that pose, a realization that hit him like shrapnel from a grenade.


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