John William Corrington, June 8, 1965

From Project Mailer
142 Columbia Heights
Brooklyn 1, New York
June 8, 1965

Dear Mr. Corrington,

I mislaid your letter and didn’t come across it again until today, and that was annoying. I didn’t want you to think you’d get no answer from me. Now the best time for answering is gone. I’m starting work on a novel soon[1] so starting this week I’m going to be acknowledging mail rather than replying. But look, in any case I can hardly tell you that I thought you were or were not on the right track. That would break the game of criticism, for criticism consists of the critic assuming an authority which he knows in his own heart cannot be authoritative, and that’s the fun of it. So I try never to go over a piece of criticism with the critic. I limit myself to saying I enjoyed reading it or didn’t enjoy reading it, and obviously I enjoyed reading your piece or I would not have been annoyed at mislaying it.

At any rate, I don’t know whether I can keep it or not, so I’m returning the manuscript to you. When it is printed in Chicago Review, would you ask them to send me a copy?[2]

And for now, my best to you,
Norman Mailer
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.


  1. It is unclear what novel Mailer is referring to.
  2. Corrington wrote a favorable review of AAD in the Chicago Review (No. 18) 1965.