Don Carpenter, October 5, 1964

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
October 5, 1964

Dear Don,[1]

This is just a yeah-man-like-I-liked-your-last-letter letter, because I’m feeling a little written out. I did twenty thousand words on the Republican Convention—did I tell you? And they’re going to be in the November Esquire, out toward the end of October. It’s pretty good I think and I expect you might enjoy it, what with the local scene and all. Then I spent the rest of the summer getting An American Dream into shape. It’s a little tighter, stronger, meaner, and it’s got a little more gold in it, so I don’t know, either I’ve got a very good novel, like maybe the best book in ten years, or else I’ve got an incredibly fancy piece of shit. I’ve worked it too hard to know, but my secretary, Anne Barry, a stuck-up little New Hampshire cunt whom you may have met, is giggling her stuck-up head off as I make this remark. So I have just fired her, and will have to rehire her in the morning—Don, I’m only kidding. Anyhoo, don’t bother, as you have suggested you might, to read the installments through, because the book will be out in a couple of months, and it’s just sufficiently different in critical little ways so that you’d have to read the book version too.

This is all for now. I’m beat from too much writing, and once again doing all the letters on the same day. But I did want to say one thing, which is for Christ’s sake, never to apologize for getting interested or even being an actor on a power scene, no matter how picayune, for that after all is the very protein fat of what we have to write about.

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

Notes

  1. Don Carpenter was a west coast novelist who corresponded regularly with Mailer in the 1960s.