The Executioner's Song


Novela premiada

 

The Executioner's Song (1979) es la novela de Norman Mailer que describe los eventos relacionados a la ejecución de Gary Gilmore por asesinato en Utah. Notable por la descripción de Gilmore y la angustia que generó por los asesinatos, el libro fue central en el debate sobre el resurgimiento de la pena capital. Gilmore fue la primera persona en ser ejecutada en Estados Unidos desde la reinstalación de la pena de muerte en 1976. Al final aclaramos sobre turned in y stayed.

In April 1976, Gilmore, age 35, was released from prison after serving 13 years for armed robbery in Indiana. He was flown to Utah to live with his cousin Brenda Nicol, who agreed to be his sponsor and tried to help him find work. Gilmore soon met and became romantically involved with Nicole Baker, a 19-year-old widow with two young children who was separated from her second husband. Despite his efforts to reform himself, Gilmore had a pattern of emotional volatility and self-destructive behavior, resulting in fighting, stealing, and using drugs. After Nicole broke up with Gilmore in July, he murdered two men in two separate robberies on succeeding days. Gilmore was turned in by Brenda Nicol. He was convicted of murder at trial in September and sentenced to death. The execution was stayed on three occasions.
Summary
Based almost entirely on interviews with the family and friends of both Gilmore and his victims, the book is exhaustive in its approach. Divided into three sections, the book focuses on the events leading up to the murders and the trial and execution of Gilmore, including full documentation of Gilmore's court appearances and his decision to demand his execution rather than to continue the appeals process.
The first section of the book deals with Gilmore's early life and his numerous detentions in juvenile crime facilities and, later, prison. It details his release some months prior to his first murder and the relationships he establishes during that time.
The second section focuses more extensively on Gilmore's trial, including his refusal to appeal his death sentence, his dealings with Lawrence Schiller and his attorneys' continued fight on his behalf.
Gilmore's decision to die
In interviews, Mailer discussed what motivated him to invest so much time interviewing everyone involved with Gary Gilmore. On one occasion, he said that Gilmore "appealed to me because he embodied many of the themes I've been living with all my lifelong." In another interview, he asserted that perhaps the most important theme of the book is that "we have profound choices to make in life, and one of them may be the deep and terrible choice most of us avoid between dying now and ‘saving one's soul'."

Brenda was six when she fell out of the apple tree. She climbed to the top and the limb with the good apples broke off. Gary caught her as the branch came scraping down. They were scared. The apple tree was their grandmother´s best crop and it was forbidden to climb in the orchard. She helped him drag away the tree limb and they hoped no one would notice. That was Brenda´s earliest recollection of Gary… (The Executioner's Song, by Norman Mailer.)

Para saber
Lawrence Julian Schiller es un productor, director y escritor norteamericano.
Vocabulario
Turned in: lo entregó.
Stayed: pospuesta.
Artículos relacionados
Truman Capote, el autor de Breakfast at Tiffany´s y In Cold Blood
In Cold Blood, relata el asesinato de 4 miembros de la familia Clutter en Kansas.
De la web
Gary Gilmore, Gilmore´s brother speaking about the death sentence. Check the comments, too.
Dead calm, by Gordon Burn. The author proposes his thesis on “the quiet Mailer” for the The Executioner's Song, something that was absurd considering his background.
Fuentes
The Executioner´s Song, from Wikipedia.

Yanina y Luján, encontradas colgadas de un árbol cerca de sus casas en 2012, y que se caratuló como suicidio, vuelve a intentar reabrirse por los padres de las jóvenes.

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