The Phenomenology of War in Mailer's The Armies of the Night

전쟁의 현상학-노먼 메일러의 『밤의 군대들』

  • Published : 2008.06.30


Norman Mailer is one of the American writers who dramatize sensual pleasure in order to show how American idealism ends up being trapped and corrupted. The most remarkable cases are the tragic heroes of Scott Fitzgerald and the tough characters of Ernest Hemingway; while the former describes the victim of sensual pleasure, the latter brings the sensuality out from the darkness into 'the clean and well-lighted place.' In one of his most successful experimental fiction writings called 'New Journalism,' Mailer portrays the battle between the liberal left and the conservative right in the demonstration of 1967. Mailer achieves two things in this new technique. First, he demystifies the traditional epistemology grounded in the neutral and transparent narration and suggests that every narration can not escape mediation by a narrator. Secondly, he demonstrates that there is no clear distinction between good and bad. Rather, Good is nothing but a disguised form of Evil, and God is feasible only through the courageous action borrowed from Evil. In this technological world, devil is more powerful and attractive than God. This paper assumes the materiality of courage and focuses on the phenomenology of war carried out not from soul but from body, not from the consciousness but from the materiality.