Norman Mailer (1923-2007).
Time alone will tell, but certainly today — and for the discernible future — Mailer is and will be the preëminent international figure buried in Provincetown’s cemeteries. He and his wife Norris Church Mailer (1949-2010) keep good company in a section nicknamed Parnassus, where many of the town’s great Muses spend their eternities: Robert Motherwell, Stanley Kunitz, Ross Moffett, Jack Tworkov, and Hudson Walker among them. The inscription is based on this sentence from The Deer Park: “All the while he held Elena he felt cold as stone, but he knew that he would marry her, that he could not give her up for there was that law of life so cruel and so just which demanded that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.” For the purposes of an epitaph, it was altered to read simply: “There is that law of life, so cruel and so just that one must grow or else pay more for remaining the same.”
¶ Last updated on 4 July 2017.
Provincetown’s Historic Cemeteries and Memorials, Key A-66, Page 18.