Lipton’s Journal/December 1, 1954/4
In relation to (1). The reason “insensitive” people very often react negatively to sex or shocking matters in books is because it is actually much more real to them. They are actually more “sensitive” to it. So, Stanley Rinehart. He must excise the presence of The Deer Park because he reacts to it more than I do.
- President of the firm of Rinehart and Co., Stanley Rinehart Jr. (1897 – 1969) wrote a letter comparing The Naked and the Dead to the work of Hemingway and Dos Passos that was printed on the dust jacket of the first edition. But in late November 1954, with an ad for The Deer Park already published, Rinehart cancelled the novel’s publication after Mailer refused to cut a sexually explicit scene. Later, Mailer sued and received the remainder of his advance for the novel.
- Mailer’s third novel, set in a Palm Springs-like resort town in southern California where the elite of the film world go for relaxation, deal-making, and various shenanigans, revolves around the choice faced by a leftist film director, Charles Eitel: testify before a Red-hunting congressional committee, or lose his prominent position in Hollywood. Mailer began final revisions on The Deer Park (1955) immediately after the four months he was writing “Lipton’s,” and includes in the journal comments on his aspirations for the novel and his plans for its characters in future works.