Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/572

From Project Mailer

“Stupid” people find thought painful, fucking delightful—at least generally, typically, they do. (Folk-lore and platitudes show the truth of this). Intellectuals find thought joyous, fucking painful—again generally true. Rare people find fucking and thought joyous—usually orgiastic mystics who can dispense with the guilt of no-orgasm and the guilt of no-idea, no-work-accomplished. Balanced “healthy” people are people who can move from one to the other from the orgiastic mystic to the rational orgasm and back again. Contentment and depression are the lot of the “socially healthy” person—hard ideas and strong orgasms—a very rare bird by the way. But such birds pay by being relatively ordinary—they are not geniuses. Orgiastic mystics (the rarest birds of all) who are healthy orgiastic mystics have a rich inner tumescent universe, but seem pitiable, perverted, “crazy” and hopeless to society.

The genius is the rarest of all for he contains both—his love and hate for himself, his er and his sup, his saint-loverness and social-critical oneness are both enormously developed. The genius is deprived of pleasure and deprived of real love of the one (One’s mate) so the genius has his incredible insights into the nature of pleasure and pain, and when he loves a person is capable of loving them only by endowing them (as indeed every person understood well enough is) with all the nature of pleasure and pain, all the love and hate the genius feels for the universe. There have been very few total geniuses in history, but more and more I suspect that Joyce was one of them. If I can ever write Antacid Analgesic the way I conceive it, I too will be a genius. Until then I will merely give intimations and promises of genius together with a lot of qvatch.[1]

I started this note on the thought that I can enjoy fucking only when it arouses creative thought (not detachment) which flows in and out and around and of the person or persons to whom I make love. Once it wells into words, ideas, the fucking loses its savor. Which is why Adele[2] was so furious at me the night of the fuckanalysis. She knew that a joyous act had become a painful one for me; I was no longer thinking-flowing, but ideating—stopping and starting.


  1. Probably the Yiddish kvetch, to nag and complain at length.
  2. Adele Morales (1925 – 2015), who he married in April 1954, was Mailer’s second wife. The mother of his daughters Danielle (b. 1957), and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1959), she separated from Mailer in early 1961 a few months after he stabbed her with a penknife, just missing her heart. He pled guilty to felonious assault and was given a suspended sentence. They divorced in 1962.