John W. Aldridge, August 17, 1965

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
607 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts
August 17, 1965

Dear Jack,

It’s too bad we missed each other this summer, it really is. I was looking forward to it. I’ve been working hard too, and kept putting off a letter until a weekend would show on the horizon that looked to be good. So it went by. We were thinking last spring of going to Nantucket in a boat that a friend of ours had in Harwichport, but he chose to go to Hawaii, so that took care of that.

The re-reprinting of your review in Partisan also did not take place. Phillips said that he would do it, but also asked me if I really thought it would be effective after all this time, and all the extra emphasis that it demanded, and I had to agree with him. It would have made me look silly, and worse, in this sort of small matter, might have made you look bad. Which after all was not my purpose. As you may remember, my agent approached Warner’s. As I feared, they have not answered yes or no, which in Hollywood always means no. The difficulty from the beginning is that movie companies do not get technical advisors in order to make the author’s meaning clear to them. They look for technical advisors who keep them running well in the middle of the prejudices of the particular consensus against which the work was aimed. Thus if they were to make a movie today of The Naked and the Dead, the technical advisor would be a man from the Pentagon; so the technical advisor of An American Dream, if there will be one, is bound to prove out a retired commissioner of police from the City of New York.

Well, now we must look forward to seeing each other in the fall.

Best and all,
Norman
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An American Dream Expanded.