My Friend, Jean Malaquais

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Written by
Norman Mailer
Note: Preface to The Joker by Jean Malaquais.[a]

I did not like this book twenty years ago, and thought it disappointing. Since I had learned as much about writing from the author as from anyone alive, large demands were put upon the manuscript. Jean Malaquais was not only my good friend, perhaps even my best friend, but my mentor, more — he had had more influence upon my mind than anyone I ever knew from the time we had gotten well acquainted while he was translating The Naked and the Dead into French. Part of the friendship rested on his candor. He is hardly rich now, and he was poor then, as only a French intellectual who teaches an evening course at the New School can be bread-crust poor in New York, and he made no pretense — he was not in love with The Naked and the Dead. No, he was doing the translation because he needed the work. It proved a munificent sum. The publisher was giving him $2,000, and in the course of the year, I added another $1,000 out of shame. I had never seen a man work so hard at a job for which he did not have respect. In the year it took him to make that translation, he must have worked eight hours a day, five or six days a week; he was a perfectionist and a French stylist, and hated my prose in that book with much detailed justice: he would draw vectors across the pages to show how sloppily I had repeated or worse, ideas — how he detested anything slovenly in literature! He had, after all, fashioned the style of his own French prose out of the hungriest inner disciplines. Like Conrad, he was Polish, and also began to learn the language in which he would write only after he was out of his adolescence. Conceive of such hungry disciplines when he was a young emigrant from Warsaw who worked in French mines and came to clarify the literature of his new tongue by spending fourteen hours a day in the Bibliothèque Nationale in order to keep warm — it was cold on the winter streets of Paris in the years of the Depression — yes, learned his French by reading and writing in that library with all his imagination, ambitions and privations going into it, and took a post-graduate course in the hierarchical elegance of the tongue by being secretary to Andre Gide for a period, indeed met his future employer by composing a furious letter on the spur of reading a casual piece the author had done for a literary review.[1]

Jean Malaquais

In those pages, Gide had written that he sometimes wondered if poverty might not have deepened his art. We can imagine the irony with which he would surround so direct a sentimentality. Malaquais, however, pulled up the barbarism and shook it in the air. You ought to get down on your knees and pray to that God you occasionally pretend to believe in that He has let you be a comfortable bourgeois so you can make your art. Such was the note of the letter, a howl of ferocity torn right out of the bitterness of trying to write at the maximum of one’s possible talents when there was no money in the pocket and no food in the belly. Gide wrote back to apologize. He confessed he had not been thinking of the situation of young writers like Malaquais for whom such words had to be naturally and justifiably intolerable, no, he feared he had been playing too inconsiderately with a conceit; he had wished to startle a number of his confreres who were overconcerned their sensibility and so had been cushioning themselves against too much shock. He hoped to pose the possible stimulations of shock. But it had been unfeeling to ignore the situation of penniless young men like Malaquais and their sentiments on reading his words.[2] To the letter, Gide pinned a bill, something like ten pre-World War II francs. Let us say the sum might bring back twenty dollars’ worth of groceries today. Malaquais tore up the money and mailed the scraps back to Gide. “Do not think,” he wrote, “that you can buy a postage stamp for your soul. If you wish to do something for me, do something real, give me a job! Do not throw me crumbs!”

Now came another letter. Would Malaquais come and visit?[3]

“C’est toi, Malaquais?” asked Gide on the day he appeared.

“Oui, c’est moi. C’est toi, Gide?”

Could fifty years have gone by since a younger man had said “toi” to him? Still, it was the period of growing sympathy for the USSR. How characteristic to be intrigued, therefore, with a young Pole who was both an intellectual and a worker, not only a Marxist, but perverse prize to esteem a species of rare Marxist from some rarefied splinter group, the absolute antithesis, therefore, of all those Soviet bureaucrats with whom Gide was now trying to find tillable intellectual ground. All the more intoxicating to listen then to the concentrated polemic of a Marxist who was altogether anti-Soviet — that was in the grain for Gide. He could hardly move toward atheism without encouraging the friendship of every cleric he knew.

So began an intellectual relationship which would continue intermittently for years. If Gide was to absorb little of Marx from Malaquais (which may have been Gide’s fault!) the new secretary was to learn a great deal about writing from the master.[4] A decade and a half later during the winter and spring of 1949 while Malaquais was translating The Naked and the Dead and we became friends despite his aforesaid abomination of my writing (with which I secretly agreed — was I the first to think that The Naked and the Dead was a good novel in spite of its style?) I would be obliged in my turn to pick up Malaquais’ literary precepts, live with them, wrestle with their intent, and even absorb one or two while hearing Gide’s example cited so repeatedly during debates on style that I came to feel at last as if I knew him, or at least knew something of his taste and how his strictures were formed.

There was nothing slavish about Malaquais, least of all his mind. He was an intellectual sultan, still is, and so my ongoing education in the niceties of good writing was not a simple concert of homage to Gide — Malaquais had for his old employer the comfortable respect we offer a writer whose virtues are prominent but whose lacks are clear in our estimate. After any harangue by Malaquais designed to reduce my truculence toward elegance, severity, and restraint (which virtues were elevated through all of my friend’s dialectic in order to the quality of surprise in one’s work — a traditional Gallic presentation under the very shadow of the great literary chef, André G., himself) my mentor was also perfectly capable of saying in an aside, “Of course when it comes to an analysis of history, Gide is like a schoolboy. He has every gift for seizing the paradox of character — he is virtually the first to comprehend that character is paradox — but give him a social context and he will lose all instinct for the dialectic.”

On reflection, it was true. Gide did not live with dialectic. His mind was singularly particular just where Malaquais’ was marvelously abstract. Malaquais had the most powerful ability to move from any particular offered him into the Leviathan of his general theory — he was not a Marxist for nothing! — and trying to argue in his presence was analogous to being drawn with one’s brain along a magnetic field of the intellect. Willy-nilly was one’s mind reoriented along one Polish Frenchman’s poles. Nothing vulgar or bullying about it. Malaquais loathed formula, propaganda, or any variety of thinking which deprived a situation of its nuance. So he was capable of advancing a new thesis, anticipating your objections, stating them with clarity (like Freud disarming his critics) and then would overtake his own verification of your position in the return swing of the dialectic. He would do this with such power that when he argued, the veins in his forehead would throb as though to demonstrate that the human head was obliged to be the natural site if not the very phallus of Mind. Malaquais would have at such times a resemblance to Picasso — the same noble vault of forehead and workingman’s knob of a nose, same characterological determination of chin, same cleft. (Of course, Malaquais might detest the comparison. “What a stinker!” I heard him say once of Picasso.)[5] Still, speaking of genius, I heard Malaquais give a lecture once at the New School. I never heard a better one. For fifty minutes he spoke (without a note) exploring into the recesses of a novelist’s unique relation to his time — memory across the years suggests the lecture may have been on Stendhal, or was it Proust? — I only remember the sensation of feeling my intelligence conducted through exercises I might not ordinarily have been able to follow. He had the same intense application of energy upon a given point that one finds only in those few great athletes who bring absolute concentration to every instant of a contest and so reveal to you by their body movement some meanings of the sport. When Malaquais lectured, it was inconceivable that his mind and tongue could separate. To celebrate was to speak. Once at a party, he went on for hours, dominated the conversation. When his wife later remonstrated, “Jean, you talked nine-tenths of the time,” he grunted and said, “I had ten times as much to say.” It was not arrogance. Merely his grim estimate of the proportions, grim because this small French Pole with his rugged face and mighty brow, his virile purchase on any question to come his way, this prodigy of debate, this behemoth of orality — he spoke out of the same gusto with which a good appetite devours steak — was a man locked in chains when it came to writing. No author ever had more to be grim about.

With no belief in karma, one might still have to postulate a phenomenon like reincarnation to explain the enormity of Malaquais’ woes when he tried to write — only a soul paying in this life for outrages it had performed in another could pass through such suffering. So Malaquais may once have been Gilles de Rais. In the late Forties and the early Fifties when Jean was writing The Joker, just those years when I first came to know him well, he would sit at his desk for ten or twelve or fourteen hours a day, every day. It was his boast that he would not get up, not pace around, not break for a meal, no, he would sit, contemplate his page, and would write … to the tune of two or three hundred words a day. Two hundred words in ten hours! It is twenty words an hour, or a new word every three minutes. Can any torture be more horrifically designed for a man who could deliver an extempore lecture complete in thought, example, and syntax, a work of seven or eight thousand words in less than an hour, to be reduced now, down now, with a pen in his hand, to twenty words in sixty minutes? The culture of the past must have sat on his mind like Gibraltar. How could he dare to write about anything? Given his profound contempt for authors who rushed to place their shoddy artifacts into that small temple where only a few perfect works ought to be installed, how presume to add to the excrementa? So this flame-thrower of a mind (when free at its own unrecorded speech) was now confined to one burning wire which sought to drill a tiny hole into rock of his weighty regard for the value of literature. A man who sat twelve hours at his desk in meditation might have enjoyed such a life even with no more than two hundred words a day, but Malaquais, like many an author before him, labored in depression and whole fatigue. “Yes,” he said once, “if you want to do good work, you must pisser le sang,” and he must have pissed the blood of every disappearing ambition into the hours he chained himself to that desk. What an effort! Over two years, then three years of just such work, slowly The Joker bored its little hole into the great rock of his resistance to himself, and Malaquais emerged at last with this novel.


I was aghast when I read it. So much had happened in his life. He had escaped from the Germans after being a prisoner of war, then as a man without a passport had slipped out of Occupied France, only to become metamorphosized into a Jew again, obliged still to hide from the Nazis in Cadiz, while haunting visa factories like a character in The Consul, then a penniless émigré living by his wits in Venezuela and Mexico for the rest of the war. He had also been a movie-script writer with respectable credits and an award winner of a major literary prize, the Prix Renaudot, as well as the post-war author of a major novel, Planete Sans Visa, and a much-lauded war diary, an ideologist, a romantic, a Marxist, a man with a charmingly demonic wife as well as a critic with every elevated instinct for the kill. He had now written a book so empty of the novelistic riches of his life, that I was in a fury as I read. I had wanted something I was not receiving. The Joker seemed bizarre and unlovable — a tract on the bureaucratic horrors of the future written in a nineteenth-century style, an inconglomerate, an incondominium of Kafka, Alice in Wonderland, some TV afternoon laugh-snort, and Mission Impossible. I thought it indigestible; worse, some of the dialogue was guaranteed to grate your teeth. Perhaps it was the fault of the translation I suggested in desperation. No, it was a fine translation, Malaquais insisted. He had worked closely with the translator, a most intelligent woman.

What was one to do with passages like this?

“I’m called Bomba,” he said, “and she’s called Kouka. What’s your name?”

I took his hand absent-mindedly and said nothing. He had a grip of iron.

“You’re a oner,” he said.

A radio was blasting away on the mantel of a dummy fireplace. Mistress Kouka unstoppered one of my jars and plunged her nose into it with delight.

“Oner, punner,” she said.

No, Malaquais liked it fine. Nothing wrong with, “You’re a oner.”

It was obvious this intellectual conquistador had no feeling for the little rhapsodies of the tongue. I told him what I thought of his book — he had hardly been gentle in his earlier turn on The Naked and the Dead and Barbary Shore whose imperfections were left forever mortal to me by his critique. What unconscious anger must have been stored in my own reactions; with what an unwitting hostility I must have gone through his pages. The recognition that Malaquais was not one of the world’s greatest living writers exploded in me a critical response akin in judgment to a slave rebellion. I was obviously trying to forge my escape from all influence; Malaquais took it like a master. Indeed, it was his turn; if I had been one attentive student through every severity he visited on my work, so he absorbed everything I had to say on the faults of The Joker, listened with a half-smile on his face, that painful touch of merriment we feel when good friends are an abyss of agreement apart, and shook his head gloomily from time to time as if it were all too possible that what I had to say might even be true.

Still, he always recovered the private heat of that private and indispensable arrogance which had enabled him to drill the wire into the rock. No, he would always finish by saying, it was a modest book and doubtless had its serious flaws; quand même, it had its irreducible little value — he thought finally there was something to it. That was to prove a small consolation in the face of his ongoing poverty, and the modest reception when it came out, its even more modest sale, hardcover for a couple of thousand and no paperback, its quick disappearance. Even in France, where the reviews were good, the book did little.

None of that could have offered him much, and in fact he has not published another novel over all these twenty years — perhaps we keep writing fiction until the pressure of everything in the scheme of things which does not desire novels squeezes us back. It could be said that civilization will enter hell when no more good novels are written and the hum of the TV set is the only resonance in our ear — certain enough, at any rate, a novelist feels that void of substance in his soul (which saints refer to as hell) about the time all urge to write a novel has deserted him. Just as it is the human fate to die, so it may be the novelist’s fate to stop writing novels — it comes finally out of the baggage of disappointment in one’s life, a species of cumulative nothingness, and Malaquais’ fictional talents have indeed been silent.[6]

Still, it was also part of the character, part of the dignity of a master, that my intense dislike of The Joker never affected our friendship, in fact may have improved it, for in coming to revere him less and comprehend him a little more, I came also to understand that he was made of the noble material from which the best friendships are formed.

For he was utterly without rancor at my dislike of his work, and it was a soup of good marrow for any friendship to know that the intensity of the critical standard he imposed on others was applicable to himself. Literary criticism had to exist for itself. This is what this good Marxist, full of his own paradox, proceeded to teach me: that there were more important things than vanity or self-expression. One of them was art. Critical were the praetorian guard of that most perishable majesty, art. It is, as an original insight, equal to the claim that one has discovered the wheel, but then every artist may have to discover this wheel for himself, and I never knew another writer who was as impersonal about his own work and the work of others, friends or enemies, than Malaquais. If we are buddies we must naturally be ready to die for one another on the barricade was his unspoken premise, but do not ever ask me to approve of a literary performance I cannot respect. Could anything be less American than to be ready to die for friends if they do not agree with you? No, it is European, and if that part of Europe is also being covered over by the One World technologies of Global Village, well, the elegiac tone is always dependably at hand for a preface.


But there is no need for elegy. I discovered on reading The Joker once again that it was more alive than when created. A string of book reviewers’ good words might follow — characters vivid, action more significant — the difference was that I now enjoyed reading it. Now, on the other side of two decades, I could discover what there was to learn. For Malaquais had done a book which came out twenty years too soon, a novel about a world we are now all but ready to perceive on the horizon, that awful world of high-rise, unisex, computers, and disembodied flamboyance, everybody his own superstar, while the air smells of plastic whose molecules seem bound to circle forever in the coils of the air conditioning, all the stale gloom of tortured materials, deodorant and fluorescent light.

Yes, now, on re-reading, I came to see that Malaquais was writing of a city which was not so different from all the cities we have almost become, a megalopolis whose boundaries could not even be found. At one point, the hero, trying to describe his city through metaphor; sees it as an immense skyscraper large as the world itself for it is all the world he knows. It is a total state and the impact of that state is in the very architecture of its building.

…in the same spirit of immunization, they surround themselves with walls, constantly reinforced; already, counting from the outer to the inner wall, the thickness has grown from simple to double and even to triple, which, you can well imagine, cannot but increase the general crowding. True, the horizontal space taken up by these reinforcements is partially compensated for by vertical space, since new stories are constantly being added to the tops of the buildings; but it is likely true that this pushing upward cancels out at the top whatever attempts are made to reinforce the structure at the bottom.

The image could serve as a metaphor of capitalism itself, that Marxist view of capitalism in the final stages where every attempt to solve a problem creates a new and worse one, but this is hardly the author’s first intent. He is more absorbed to write of bureaucracy, of a bureaucracy which is established, old, almost in a neo-civilized tradition, a Soviet bureaucracy is what we will think of first, yet not as it was in the early Fifties. The irony is that the Soviet has probably grown by these years of the Seventies a little closer in spirit to the model Malaquais provided for the Fifties.

So, as I read the book in the silence of all twenty years since last I looked at it, the work was different. It had its own resonance now. The faults may still have been there but they were less acute. If the dialogue once again leaned on the edge of the absurd, foreign, stilted, — one stilt ever higher than the other — all the other absurdities seemed to have come into place. The Joker had its proportions. What looked bizarre in ’53 was now on the side of prophecy. I could recollect my indignation when the hero, Pierre Javelin, at the end of the work confessed to a friend that he was writing poems and leaving them in odd places for people to read. What a puny way to resist the absolute totalitarianism of the city through which he travelled; what a sentimental orgy! Yet the first new sound to be heard in the age of conformity was a reading of poetry. Out of San Francisco came a wind to tell us the Beat revolution was on its way. That revolution, for better or worse, and certain it can hardly be for worse (so soon one recollects the intellectual paralysis of the Fifties) was a movement which took us through Black militancy and the campus rebellions, from Eisenhower precisely to Watergate. A new totalitarianism may now be on its way, and pervasive — the computer will be the axis the new ideology. Yet if the Twentieth Century moves toward apocalypse (a full-gauge remark in The Joker states: “only the utmost crowding of individual destinies corresponds to reality”) then history may be accelerating through liberations and repressions which become progressively more intense until the totalitarianism of the future will not be lived out in uniform so much as suffered along the unconscious programs of the psyche; at such a time the rebellions to oppose it may first appear as no more than new arts of the absurd, or of any other activity able to disrupt the program without destroying itself.

Something has happened to our view of bureaucracy over these twenty years; and it is this change which shifts The Joker from an isolated little book into a poetic instrument which enables us to think again about the oncoming bureaucracies of the future. For it is in Malaquais’ vision to comprehend bureaucracy not as a monolith but an organism, a beast, with habits and mating customs, hungers and fevers, and just as animals are separated from history, so too is the mythical bureaucracy he creates for us in The Joker all separated, a bureaucracy utterly out of time for it draws from so far back as the 19th century paperasses of the official French clerk and goes forward into projections of techniques the future has not yet envisaged. His bureaucratic villain Babitch is so simple, so French, so clerical as to cluck with delight at one point because finally, <blockauote> “This morning, just fancy, I was entrusted with the first ink of my career. . . . It’s a new and most valuable promotion. And to think it comes so soon after the other. . . . I will admit that I still do not have an inkpot for my ink, but I believe it will not be long incoming now.”

Yet Babitch is so devious, so skillful, so tuned to the opportunities of bureaucratic discourse that

He didn’t care in the least what I said so long as I kept talking. My agreement or disagreement made him equally happy. . . .

“It’s my turn to follow you perfectly,” I said. “The true and the false, the myth and the real, alike incline the scales to your side. Your entire art is reduced to the simple procedure: say any word at all and I will have you hanged.”

Yet with what skill does the novel also inhabit all the here and now of government officers. Whoever has stood online for an unemployment check is ready to appreciate the following passage:

I found no way of explaining myself. What complicated things was that only the hands of the employee concerns were visible. A pane of bluish glass was at each of the windows, leaving and opening of only two inches at the counter, and it was through this that you saw the hands taking hold of your papers and manipulating them with fascinating dexterity. In addition, the glass reflected your image, which gave you the impression of talking to yourself.

Nor can anyone who has ever suffered through a search for their missing records and been maddened by the friendliness of an official who would help you if he could, but can’t, fail to find the pertinence of this paragraph:

. . . the poor inspector is caught between hammer and anvil. Yet he is in no way to blame. He is nobody. My case, for instance: barely ten minutes ago he had not even suspected its existence. There was not a comma in my record for which he was responsible; he did not even know who put in those commas. The records, once set going, circulated of their own accord, one neither knew where they came from nor where they were going to. . . . “So you see,” he pleaded, “we are merely a stage of the proceedings, here, just a stage. The person involved and his record pause here for a moment, we try to find out if they fit each other, as you fit a shoe to a foot, no more or less, then someone else takes over.”

That is the middle ground of the marvelous anachronism Malaquis has mixed, bureaucracy past, present, and future — comic, maddening, then terrifying. For terror is the heart of his book. It is the terror of that future which passes beyond Say any word at all and I will have you hanged to the final oppression of that day when technology enters the brain; and the interface of all communication shifts from the voice to the thought. Then, totalitarianism may say, Think, and you are gone.

It is part of the complex strength of The Joker that this possible condition which inspires most of us with the imperative that of course we must resist (but leaves us spineless with the knowledge we have not a clue how to proceed) becomes instead the very action of the book, as if totalitarianism has been here so well perceived that we grapple with the beast, smell it, feel its depredations on our power to resist, and even begin to resist it. Some vision begins to move in one’s mind; some grasp of the modern forms of despotism, some sense of that bureaucracy organism as a malignancy, an incubus upon our century which will finally, unlike all earlier historical forms of tyranny, end by destroying even its own. “The City rarely misses devouring its servants, and is it not, among your kind, the supreme form of belonging to have yourself devoured?” For it is in Malaquais’ vision that the total state does not strike at our liberties but rather is out to dissolve our identities.

“Unfortunately we are strictly forbidden to reveal any address, under any pretext. No, sir, not even as an exception. Anyway, in this department we do not know the addresses of our subscribers. A special department takes charge of that, entirely independent of ours.”

“What department, madam? Perhaps by going there…”

“The Department of Archives, sir. But no one knows where it is.”

If these bureaucrats will end by devouring one another, it is because they do not even possess the human if conspiratorial purpose to serve as tyrants, no, they form no master ring, but rather are agents of entropy who pull in all identity upon themselves (which is to say in upon the Program) until there is no identity left to dissolve but their own. “Dominique,” says Javelin, “there is no individual fate in Hell.”

So in Malaquais’ story of a man who comes home to his anonymous apartment in an anonymous complex of high-rise buildings and finds that it is no longer anonymous because he cannot even find it nor find his wife nor his furniture, nor a lock for his key, we are brought into ironic contact with a modern epic, with what we may fear as the only modern epic — the simple search for that identity we all feel disappearing into some great maw of our century, into some almost palpable and most willful intent which seems to be forever engorging our roots and washing us faster away from any recognition of the past. It is Malaquais’ vision to see that bureaucracy is not stupidity but a veritable system of evil genius.

So he has written a book which is all but designed to be passed around as surreptitiously as the poems of the hero. Can one conceive of the impact of The Joker if copies were ever circulated hand to hand through the Soviet, there to give life to that undeclared enclave of resisters who read Solzhenitzyn and prepare to write more poems? Perhaps this edition will yet go slipping in. Let us hope we are not studying it in America fifty years from now like an artifact of hieroglyphs while the TV sets emptied of all content by the aesthetic strictures of the final domination merely drone their waves and clots into a stroboscopic sea and the hour of the wolf is in the neon of every used-up eternity on that drear drawn.


  1. I think it is worth printing Malaquais’ corrections (by way of a recent letter) to a few of my biographical facts. “The library was la bibliothèque Sainte-Genevieve, the only one in Paris that stayed open till 10 P.M. I’d remain there all day long (10–12 hours), often without a meal. At closing time I’d go to Les Halles where, with some luck, I’d be unloading crates of cackling poultry or frozen cabbage. Still, job or no job, I could always grab there an apple or a couple of carrots to keep the man alive.”
  2. From Malaquais’ letter: “Gide’s piece, an excerpt from his Journal dated March 1935, appeared in the October issue of la Nouvelle Revue Française. I think it was December when I happened to read it. Had you a chance to look it up (cf. Justin O’Brien’s transl., Knopf), I am sure you’d agree it was plain sentimental gibberish, and not in the least ironic. Idiocy was the price one had to pay for going along—even for a while—with the Stalinists.”
  3. From Malaquais’ letter: “G. pinned to his letter a postal order for 100.00 francs (20.00 doll. is about right). I mailed it back, telling him he couldn’t buy himself a piece of real estate in paradise at my expense. Not that I was beyond bribery. Had he sent 1,000.00 francs, I might have considered. But for 100.00 francs I’d rather have him stay in hell. That’s when he wrote, would I come and visit.”
  4. From Malaquais’ letter: “I was not G’s secretary or otherwise in his pay. He did ask me from time to time to do this or that for him — read and comment upon the hundreds of letters (mostly insulting) he had received as a sequel to his two books on Russia; or he’d want me to put some order in his voluminous archives; or call on me at any odd hour for a game of chess; or drag me along the streets through lengthy aimless errands; or drop in my lap a manuscript of his and out of the corners of his eyes watch me as I sniffed over it, and so on. But there was never a question of employment or salary. Yet, it is true that he gave me a helping hand. He had me examined by his doctor, saw to it that I put on a few badly needed pounds of flesh, that I was taken care of when in the hospital, in short possibly kept me from spitting my lungs. And he supported me intermittently when I was writing my first book, and it was he who secured for Galy and myself the Mexican visa which saved our hides.”
  5. From Malaquais’ letter: “Did I ever say of Picasso, ‘What a stinker!’? If so, it must have been in relation to some concrete occasion, perhaps his drawing a ‘dove of peace’ in Stalin’s honor.”
  6. He has published a book: “Kierkegaard: Faith and Paradox” which must surely be one of the most extraordinary studies ever done on the Dane. Unfortunately it has not been translated from French to English.

Editor’s Note

  1. From Malaquais, Jean (1974). The Joker. New York: Doubleday. Reprinted by Project Mailer with permission of the estate of Norman Mailer. (74.14). The notes that follow are Mailer's.