In all the brouhaha over Christopher Hitchens’s paean to poop jokes in the new Vanity Fair, you might have missed the Proust Questionnaire with literary warhorse Norman Mailer. The venerable writer-cum-political agitator dishes on his hatred for Reagan, Bush, Hitler, and — oh, yeah — Pulitzer-winning Times book critic Michiko Kakutani:
What is your greatest fear?
That I will never meet Michiko Kakutani and so not be able to tell her what I think of her. She has an unseemly haste to rush into print with the first very bad review of any book I write. She does this ahead of publication. That is a strategy. If the first review of a book is dreadful, an author needs at least three good ones to change that first impression.
Hitler, in comparison, gets off easy. Not that we’re surprised: We hear he thought pretty highly of The Naked and the Dead.