Lipton’s Journal/February 1, 1955/397

From Project Mailer

The Burglar again. All Herr Doktor[1] wants to do is steal men’s souls. His absolute social dictum is “basic passive masochism,”—“Case closed.” Truly, he’s so full of shit. He wants to make all men and women passive, because he is terrified of his own aggression, and deeply ashamed at how he has denied the rebel in himself. For the core of man is not masochism and passivity—if it were, all the world would be India. The heart of man is something allied to love and aggression—it is what I choose to call thrust. It is the incapacity to accept stasis. As Bob[2] wrote—and I quote him more or less accurately, it is the desire to affect the environment and change it.


  1. An Austrian psychoanalyst and early follower of Freud, Edmund Bergler (1899-1962) focused on masochism and homosexuality in his many books and articles. He believed homosexuality was a neurosis that could be cured, and saw homosexuals as unscrupulous psychic masochists. Bergler is Mailer’s whipping boy in Lipton’s.
  2. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914 – 1956) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by Mailer’s publisher, Rinehart. The letter, which contained both praise and criticism for Lindner’s ideas, led to a close friendship over the next four years, including many visits and the sharing of work, including Lipton’s. See extended note on entry 56.