Tags: mamet | brutality | war | novellas

Author Mamet to Newsmax: New Stories Deal With Brutality of War

Monday, 11 Nov 2013 12:17 PM

By Ronald Kessler

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Pulitzer prize-winning playwright David Mamet says he felt compelled to pen his newly released omnibus "Three War Stories" because he especially wanted to write about war, never having served in the military.

Mamet, 65, playwright of Glengarry Glen Ross and Oscar-nominated screenwriter of "The Verdict" and "Wag the Dog," deals with the physical and psychological brutality of war in the three war-themed novellas.

"I hope the three novels are not war pornography. I hope that to a certain extent that they're fantasy…. The greatest war story is really a fantasy, which is "Catch 22," Mamet said in an interview with Newsmax TV's John Bachman.

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In the dialogue driven "The Handle and the Hold," Mamet uses the backdrop of the 1947 Israeli War of Independence in which two ex-military men steal a plane.

"It was a very important conflict for me being an American and a Jew," said Mamet, emphasizing that those who fought for Israeli statehood were not "weak Jews."

He said the dialogue of those characters jumped out at him from his childhood.

"The people that survived as my father did, and his generation through immigration and the Depression of World War II, were tough as nails and like a lot of people who were tough as nails, they spoke in code and they spoke beautifully and elusively and they got a big kick out of speaking the English language. So I grew up with that kind of dialogue," Mamet said.

"Something that really impressed me about the World War II generation, my dad's generation, was they never spoke about the war. It wasn't like they were repressing anything it just wasn't done."

Mamet's two other novellas, "The Red Wing," follows a 19th Century Secret Service Naval officer during the Napoleonic Wars, who becomes a prisoner and recounts his transformation. "Notes on Plain Warfare" examines religion through the prism of the American Indian wars.

Mamet said he also wrote the book as a way to free himself from previous characters still stuck in his head.

Mamet explained, "The problem with any dramatist, especially ones doing it a long, long time, is you want to get these guys out of your head. You just want them to stop talking to you. So that's one reason I write: I don't want to deal with them anymore."

Editor's Note: 22 Hidden Taxes and Fees Set to Hit You With Obamacare. Read the Guide to Protect Yourself.


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