Lipton’s Journal/December 31, 1954/136
Years ago, working with Malaquais on Character of the Victim, I said to him “The saint can be portrayed only by showing his sins.” How right I was. So Marion comments on Eitel’s movie which he sees in jail.
- A Polish Jew (real name Vladimir Malacki) whose parents perished in the Holocaust, Jean Malaquais (1909-98) was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. Mailer has often said that Malaquais influenced him intellectually more than anyone else. They met in Paris in 1947 and became close friends a year later when Malaquais was translating The Naked and the Dead into French. Malaquais and his first wife Galy lived with the Mailers when they spent a year in Hollywood, 1949-50. During their time together, Malaquais, who wrote several novels, informally tutored Mailer on leftist thought and the history of the Russian Revolution. See Mailer’s “My Friend, Jean Malaquais,” an introduction to Malaquais’s 1954 novel, The Joker, rpt., Pieces and Pontifications.
- A screenplay based on Nathanael West’s 1933 novel, Miss Lonleyhearts, that Mailer and Malaquais worked on during their 1949–1950 year in Hollywood. It was never made.
- 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.
- Charles Francis Eitel (I-tell is the pronunciation), the protagonist of The Deer Park, is a blacklisted film director, who names former communists to a congressional committee.