Lipton’s: The Marijuana Journal of Norman Mailer, 1954-1955
Mailer began this journal on December 1, 1954, two months before his 32nd birthday. His intention was to record the effects of marijuana, which he had been smoking regularly for a few years, on the other activities of his life at the time—writing and his literary ambitions, sex, jazz, and his interactions with his colleagues at Dissent magazine, the leftist journal edited by Irving Howe, and with friends and family. One of the most important figures in his life at the time was Dr. Robert Lindner, a well-known psychiatrist and author of popular psychology books, including Must You Conform and Rebel without a Cause. Rinehart published the work of both men, and they had corresponded since the fall of 1952. After Mailer had completed a series of entries (he numbered them 1–689), perhaps ten pages worth, he would mail a carbon copy to Lindner, who then responded in letters, telephone calls and meetings in New York or Baltimore, where Lindner and his wife Johnnie lived.