Lipton’s Journal/December 8, 1954/25

From Project Mailer

Every word sets up its opposite echo.[1] “Overlook” means to stare cruelly and nakedly from above—it also means in its common use to disregard, to fail to see. So the real world, my phrase for the “material world” may actually be quite unreal and composed of illusion just as certainly as “action” referred to in (24) may actually be the reverse of action. So far as we “act” to fulfill the needs of society, we are actually no more than a part of the net with which society keeps men from developing. We have the illusion of action, of motion; in truth we are merely lines of cord in the net.


  1. A great deal, of Lipton’s is given over to Mailer’s theories about the hidden meanings and relations between words. Although his linguistic theories are wrong-headed, his ruminations demonstrate his desire to peel back reality to reveal the hidden structures of social existence embedded in language.