Lipton’s Journal/December 29, 1954/104
A possibility occurs to me on The Deer Park. To wit, Marion Faye starts sending his journal to Sergius—in prison he has finally made it on Lipton’s. So, when The Deer Park ends, Sergius appends an addition in which he says that now he is finished as author and must become editor. There is this flood of notes from Marion Faye, and he has not the courage to rewrite his novel in view of this new information. So he submits it to the reader who may have been bored, irritated, or enthralled by The Deer Park itself, and he invites the reader to read it, and if it interest him, to then reread The Deer Park and see it as Marion Faye would have seen it.
- Mailer’s anti-hero for a post-Hiroshima world in The Deer Park, Faye (son of Dorothea O’Faye, a former singer who presides over a drunken salon in Desert D’Or, Mailer’s name for Palm Springs, California), is the archetypal hipster. A bisexual pimp and drug dealer, he is the novel’s dark conscience, the polar opposite of Charles Eitel. Mailer planned to use Faye as a centripetal character in the seven novels that he planned and failed to write as sequels to The Deer Park.
- The narrator of The Deer Park, Sergius O’Shaugnessey, is veteran U.S. Air Force pilot who flew combat mission in Korea. After his discharge, he settles in Desert D’Or, where he has an affair with movie star Lulu Meyers.
- Mailer did not add Faye’s journal to the final draft of The Deer Park, which he completed in the summer of 1955. Over the next six or seven years, however, he made a few half-hearted attempts to write a sequel to the novel, and Faye’s notes on his experiments with marijuana in prison are part of these unpublished fragments.