Eiichi Yaminishi, July 7, 1964

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
597 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts
July 7, 1964

Dear Eiichi,[1]

This is just a quick note. By now, ideally, you’ve received the last three installments (six, seven, and eight) of An American Dream, and so you can think about the book as a whole. Much of the news you have heard about the novel is untrue or inaccurate. For instance, it will not be published in October or November, but in January. Same for England. And it has not been sold to the films. Warner Brothers took an option but of course may decide not to buy it. That of course is all by the bye. The book may make a vast amount of money, it may not—but what it has done is to provide me with sufficient income so that for the next two years I can concentrate on doing the best writing of which I’m capable without fear or wonder how to meet my expenses.

Apart from the fact that this was a commercial book (that is, one of the basic motives for its conception was the desire to make a great deal of money) it is also my attempt to write as good a novel as possible under the circumstances, and as I think you will see, the book, while conventional in many aspects, is also unusual in its “psychic world,” and may in this sense go further than any novel I know. Incidentally, I’m going to spend a few weeks this summer making changes in the text. They will be little changes, but numerous ones. For that reason, I would suggest you do not start your translation until the middle of September when I can give you the final copy, unless it should prove necessary to go to work earlier. If that proves the case, we’ll have to figure a way to send you the changes. That of course will mean more work for you and more work for me. At any rate, dear Eiichi, my best to you for now, and hope that all is well with your fine family, so many good sons and daughters.

Warmly,
Norman
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.

Notes

  1. Eiichi Yaminishi was Mailer’s longtime Japanese translator.