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Ernst-Jan Pfauth (de correspondent) and Tim de Gier (Vrij Nederland) take you along to the imaginative world of Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings, the voluminous 1983 novel on which Matthew Barney’s and Jonathan Bepler’s film River of Fundament is based. Setting his story in Ancient Egypt, Mailer tells a complex tale which moves between historical fiction, allegory and spiritual meditation, intertwining the Egyptian mythology around Isis and Osiris with the America of the 1970’s. The novel caused quite a stir at the time, not in the least because Mailer combined mythological themes such as fertility, death and reincarnation with starkly realistic and often shocking depictions of sexual abandon and excessive violence.
Joost de Vries: Who is Norman Mailer? And what is Ancient Evenings (1983)?
Historian at the Blitzcollege Emilie van Opstall (VU) about Isis and Osiris
Anna Abrahams (EYE) about Norman Mailer and Film
Marian Cousijn (Upstream Gallery) about Matthew Barney