“Superman Comes to the Supermart.” Esquire, November, 119-27. Nonfiction narrative on the 1960 Democratic Convention and presidential candidate John F. Kennedy.
This narrative, which was written in July-August 1960 in Provincetown and appeared on 18 October just before the 1960 election, is the first of Mailer’s reports on American political conventions and an early, important precursor to the New Journalism. Mailer’s portrait of J.F.K. was his first and one of the first of his series of profiles of American politicians, athletes, movie stars, and writers. He has also written about the conventions of 1964 (64.20), 1968 (68.25), 1972 (72.17), 1992 (92.9) and 1996 (96.8).
Rpt: As “Superman Comes to the Supermarket” (Mailer’s original title) in 63.37, 68.11, 76.5, with some trimming of the brief, italic headlines preceding each section of the narrative. These were written by an Esquire editor. Mailer complained of the title change in a letter to the editor (61.1). Esquire used “supermarket” when it reprinted the piece in Smiling though the Apocalypse: Esquire’s History of the Sixties, edited by Harold Hayes. New York: McCall, 1970. But when an excerpt was reprinted in the “Fiftieth Anniversary Collector’s Issue,” Esquire: How We Lived, 1933-1983 (June 1983), it was titled “Enter Prince Jack”; 98.7 (partial), 13.1. See 65.3.