Lipton’s Journal/December 31, 1954/145

From Project Mailer

At the point where Eitel[1] thinks, “Oh, how I’m degenerating,” there could come to him the thought of Marion Faye[2] speaking over his shoulder, and saying, “No, my friend, you are beginning to grow, but you are much too terrified of that.” All of The Deer Park is the wrestle I made with myself to protect myself against quitting the values of the world in the false but nonetheless vivid way I held them. Thank God I lost. The Deer Park is a failure, but I have discovered myself.


  1. 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.
  2. 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.