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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Notes on Norman Mailer's White Negro

- it is tempting to describe the hipster in psychiatric terms as infantile, but the style of his infantilism is a sign of the times

- the hipster [...] knows that [...] our collective condition is to live with [...] a slow death by conformity with every creative and rebellious instinct stiffled

- one is Hip or one is Square [...] one is a rebel or one conforms, one is a frontiersman in the Wild West of American night life, or else a Square cell, trapped in the totalitarian tissues of American society, doomed willy-nilly to conform if one is to succeed

- it may be fruitful to consider the hipster a philosophical psychopath [...] the psychopath is a rebel without a cause, an agitator without a slogan, a revolutionary without a program: in other words, his rebelliousness is aimed to achieve goals satisfactory to himself alone

- many hipsters are bisexual

- it is not granted to the hipster to grow old gracefully

- if the liberal should prove realistic in his belief that there is peaceful room for every tendency in American life, then Hip would end by being absorbed as a colorful figure in the tapestry

Norman Mailer - The White Negro (1957)

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