Mailer the Paper Boy

It’s true that Norman Mailer had a “short relationship” with The Village Voice after helping found it in 1955, as Voice editor in chief Tony Ortega told Media Mob earlier today, by way of explaining his paper’s decision to mark Mailer’s death with only a 1200-word obit on an inside page. The incendiary weekly column he wrote for the paper only lasted a few months, and once he gave that up—apparently he couldn’t take all the typographical errors–he pretty much checked out.

But according to one of Mailer’s two co-founders, Edward Fancher, he was quite devoted to the paper while he worked there.

“At one point,” Mr. Fancher told The Observer on Sunday, “Norman talked us into firing our newsstand distributor because he thought he wasn’t doing a very good job. And when we fired the newsstand distributor, the new man didn’t work out either. So Norman said, ‘look, I talked you into firing the first guy so it’s my responsibility.’ And I guess for three or four weeks Norman would take a little car that one of the editors owned and distribute The Voice himself to newsstands in Greenwich Village. He took responsibility and I think he enjoyed the challenge.”