Don Carpenter, March 25, 1965

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
March 25, 1965

Dear Don,[1]

I read your review with interest. First of all because it was agreeable to read, second because you said a few things I found fascinating, and third because it was interesting to see how they rearranged it and fucked it up in the newspaper. That opened a door into the world of book review editors and gave a hint of why all book reviews end up reading the same. The reviews in general have been not too bad on An American Dream, which is to say they broke about two good, three bad in the important places, and about one good, three bad in the out of town reviews. But the bad reviews were lively and the book seems to be off to a start. I find I hardly care. I’ve been in a post partum for months, not a deep one, no gloom in this, just a sense of personal flatness. For the first time in years I feel no desire to write the great American novel. It doesn’t seem important. I don’t seem important. And I’m bored with myself—that’s an emotion I haven’t felt in years. But it seems to me I spent my last letter complaining in just this fashion, and twice is enough for the best of pen pals. So let me hasten to add that I’ll have my secretary call Bob Mills so that he can send the novel on to me and you can be certain I’ll be looking forward to this. I’ll let you know as soon as I read it, but of course that may not be for several weeks, since I’m off to Alaska April 1 for a few days of action back and forth in the sparkling halls of Greater Northern America.

Best for Now,
Norman
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.

Notes

  1. Carpenter’s positive review has not been located.