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Martin Amis | Norman Mailer | George Plimpton | J.D. Salinger | Camille Paglia

Dear Britney,

Our New Jersey Meadowlands thrummed with anticipation over your appearance. The tension, I am sure, felled men lesser than myself, for I am used to staring into the crucible of the American experience and emerging perhaps singed, but unbowed. But I must confess that in your presence I grow a touch crazy and perhaps find myself "in too deep," as you so aptly put it.

As you first appeared on stage, marched forth through the blooming smoke in your gleaming vinyl jumpsuit, I knew that you were one of the outstanding personages on our earth who understands what it is to command an audience so thoroughly as to touch the gods. You, Ali, myself, we are of this ilk. (Or in proper order: myself, then you, finally, after a fair margin, Ali.)

It is now, naturally, inevitable that we meet, but I must warn you that as the giant snakes do, I too swallow my subjects whole, engorging myself on their essence until all that is left is the bone-rack, cleansed and beautiful, shining amongst the scrub and field grasses.

Be in touch. I have arranged my schedule to follow your path on its southwestern swing, ending on the western coast. If it is convenient to meet, I will be at the Alamodome, in the blasted standing-room-only section. At America West, I have scored lower level, but as of this writing am still searching (desperately so) for ducats for your three nights at the Staples Center.

Truly yours,

Martin Amis | Norman Mailer | George Plimpton | J.D. Salinger | Camille Paglia

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