Lipton’s Journal/December 31, 1954/141
What I learn about The Deer Park these days. I wrote it in such depression because the whole book is a lie. I put my ideas, my real ideas in the most degraded characters. I made Beda a monster, and Marion Faye. Ah. Look. Marion, practically reads as Norman if one spells it backwards. All the letters of Norman are present with the addition of I. I really was saying I, Norman, and I kept wondering where Marion came from. The Deer Park is an attempt to deal with and to conceal from myself that my great enemy, my all-out enemy is the Catholic Church who has stolen the sexual soul of man. And Eitel—I tell. Teppis—The eppis, the skin, the man who is all society.
- A minor character in The Deer Park, Don Beda is a wife swapper who, along with his wife, Zenelia, takes part in an orgy with Eitel and Lulu.
- 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.
- Herman Teppis, the head of Supreme Studios in The Deer Park, is an unscrupulous movie producer who manipulates actors for his own benefit.