The Idol and the Octopus: Political Writings by Norman Mailer on the Kennedy and Johnson Administrations. New York: Dell, 6 June, softcover. Miscellany, 284 pp., 95¢.
No dedication. In a note appended to the foreword, Mailer explains that the title “was once to be used for The Deer Park. The Idol was to represent Charles Francis Eitel, the artist; the Octopus was Herman Teppis, the producer, the man of power. Here I use it to characterize two administrations, The Idol and The Octopus,” or J.F.K. and L.B.J.
Rpt: Except for the foreword and some brief introductory and transition material, the bulk of this collection consists of selections from The Presidential Papers (63.37) and Cannibals and Christians (66.11). The most notable exception is “On Lady Chatterley and Tropic of Cancer” (168–170), which gives hints of his later comments on D.H. Lawrence in 71.20 and Henry Miller in 71.20 and 76.12.