Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/583

From Project Mailer

What bothered me about “A pill for the swill,” was that Adele[1] and I had been so happy, so close, so loving on the train and the train trip seemed to take two hours, no more. We were very close. We held hands and felt our bodies flowing into one another. But I exhaust everything when I feel intense. So I spent my love, and realized in taking the pill that now my hatred was close.

I have to recognize, accept, and more get the benefit of these swings of mood for I learn from each—and it is only when we try to suppress one aspect of ebb or flow, give or take, make or rest, challenge or response, love or hate, upbeat or downbeat—when we try to be simply happy, strong, loving, or whatever, try to freeze the rhythm into a straight line progression that we become frustrated, impotent, anxiety-ridden and restless.

So, when I hate Adele I will recognize it from now on in myself, even as I will try to appreciate her when she hates me. Indeed I do. Drunk, full of beans, she often hates me, or rather feels general lustility for the world. After all hatred is not simply hatred. Hatred is valuable too. Hatred is the mover, love is the rest. Hate makes, love nourishes. A mother who simply loved her children would make nothing but contented cows. It takes the bull to make a bullfight, and when we have a Ferdinand in the ring,[2] the crows gives hate, the crowd rains pillows down. When the bull hates and charges and seeks to kill, and the bullfighter shows his great appreciation and understanding of that hatred, then the corwd (crowd and cord) can love. And how it loves. It would kiss the feel, the (I wrote feel for feet—must explore this.) feel, the feet, of the bullfighter, in order the ass, the genitals, the belly and the lips, it adores this taking loving agent of bullfighter who has shown the creativity which may be saved from hatred.

And that is the value of the bullfight—it shows us that hatred too is creative, it is at the heart of the creative process—that hatred goes into love and love back to hatred. No wonder the Mexicans turn on their hero-bullfighters when they’re bad. And no wonder El Loco[3] was so extraordinary—for he aroused the maximum of love and hate, and aroused it in waves.



notes

  1. 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.
  2. Mailer refers to Monroe Leaf’s 1936 children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, about a bull that will not fight the matadors or picadors in the bullring, and would rather smell flowers.
  3. Nickname of the Mexican bullfighter, Amado Ramirez, who Mailer saw fight during his visits to Mexico. He wrote an essay, “The Crazy One,” about Ramirez, published in the October 1967 issue of Playboy, rpt., in The Bullfight (1967).