Saturday, November 10, 2007

Our Man Elli remembers Mailer (and his man Ali)

Elli Wohlgelernter writes:

"I only met Norman Mailer once, at the Ali-Norton fight at Yankee Stadium, September 28, 1976. It was a controversial fight then, and the result-- an Ali win by decision-- remains in question to this day. I thought Norton had won, as did he and many others. after the fight-- I had jumped over the railing and was sitting in the eighth row ringside-- Mailer stood and discussed with everyone who was milling around why he thought Ali won, showing his notes round by round, and why Ali's use of his rope-a-dope trick had saved him, as it had against Foreman two years earlier (the subject of his book, The Fight).

"Standing nearby was his latest and last wife, the lovely model Norris Church. A bunch of fellas from the 'hood, watching Mailer's pontification over the fight, asked, 'Who's he?'

"Informed he was one of the preeminent writers of our time, they were uninterested. 'Yeah? Who's da broad?'"

(And from all the Tabloid Baby staff: Condolences to the Mailers... and Happy birthday, Elli!)


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

i bet you elli wrote this last comment 'defender of the truth' yeah right!

Anonymous said...

Elli , thanks for trying to prevent a madman from doing more harm. True journalism is healthy. The problem is that The Madman is still talking about next year and his great visions for the IBL. When will he stop this charade?

Anonymous said...

It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause, who at best knows achievement and who at the worst if he fails at least fails while daring greatly so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.

From a speech given by Theodore Roosevelt in Paris at the Sorbonne in 1910