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Norman Mailer explains the hipster

The Story

In a departure from the usual Fighting Words format, American author Norman Mailer sits down for an in-depth discussion of "hip." Mailer, a self-proclaimed philosopher of hip, teaches host Nathan Cohen about the differences between hips and squares, and discovers the true meaning of hip as the two men chain-smoke their way through this wonderful 1960 interview. Be there or be square.

Medium: Television
Program: Fighting Words
Broadcast Date: Jan. 17, 1960
Guest(s): Norman Mailer
Host: Nathan Cohen
Duration: 28:00

Did You know?

• Norman Mailer linked himself to the hipster lifestyle with his 1956 essay "The White Negro: Superficial Reflections on the Hipster," later published in his book Advertisements for Myself .

• Mailer once said he'd never win the Nobel Prize because he stabbed his then-wife with a penknife in 1961. He did later manage to win two Pulitzer Prizes.

• He also coined the word "factoid" in 1973, originally to mean a spurious piece of information.



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