Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 August 2021
This chapter addresses one of Mailer’s most notable literary influences, Ernest Hemingway. Mailer wrestled with the looming influence of Hemingway to such an extent that the relationship merits its own focused study. When it was first published, The Naked and the Dead invited immediate comparisons to Hemingway, which had much to do with the two authors similar thematic concerns. For years, Mailer alternately fought against and embraced these comparisons, wrestling with Hemingway’s influence, writing about him on more than one occasion (in pieces such as 1956’s “Nomination of Ernest Hemingway for President” and 1963’s “Punching Papa” among others), and writing an unanswered letter to him as well.