Lipton’s Journal/December 31, 1954/145
At the point where Eitel thinks “Oh, how I’m degenerating,” there could come to him the thought of Marion Faye 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.
- 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.
- 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.