Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/585

From Project Mailer

Ted Amussen[1] cannot express hatred—that is his sickness. Neither can Danny Wolf.[2] If Danny doesn’t take a smack at me soon, I’ve got to let up or I’ll drive him into schizophrenia. The answer to Bob’s question as to why I provoke the orgy with people like Dan and Rhoda,[3] whom I don’t desire sexually (and what a world of lack of understanding is buried is to desire sexually) is double at least. I want to enrage Dan to the point where he’ll attack me. If he could express his hostility in physical aggression he would feel wonderful afterward—I know that. I would like to make him scram at me, weep, rage, spit, and strike. Next day he’d wake up in a good mood. I know it. That’s why I always try to touch off hatred in people—it’s the only way to get back to love.

When Bob[4] came to India’s[5] I knew he was suppressing his hostility toward me (chassidility) (He was like a rabbi furious that his most talented disciple was wearing his tfillen)[6] (And isn’t Bob’s talent to be a teacher who stimulates others past him?) and I also knew that the longer Bob suppressed his hostility toward me the more depressed and tired he would become. So I taunted him, insulted him, stuck needles in him, twisted writs and wrists (the Ritz is the Writs) provoked him until—and I really believe this—he scared us in turn when he drove the car. Granted the Lipton’s had us paranoid. Nonetheless, Bob had a shit-eating grin when we screamed that we were scared.

And after that, after that equality, after hatred met hated, we were close and warm the rest of the evening which was a fine evening—and Bob’s energy, his enormous lerve was flowing. Because Bob is a lover. When he loves he is tireless—it is the source of his energy. He becomes flat only when he hates and cannot express it. But crook loves crook. And crooks know how to express hatred. So I shit on Bob, and he shits on me, and then we were brother again, mutual leader and follower.



notes

  1. An editor at Rinehart and Co. for both Mailer and Lindner, Theodore Amussen (1915-1988) was instrumental in Mailer signing a contract for The Naked and the Dead.
  2. A close friend of Mailer’s in the 1950s, Daniel Wolf (1915-96), the co-founder of the Village Voice, introduced Mailer to his second wife, Adele Morales.
  3. Lifelong friend of Mailer’s sister Barbara, Rhoda Lazare (b. 1926) was introduced to her husband, Daniel Wolf, by Mailer.
  4. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914-56) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by NM’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.
  5. Unknown.
  6. Chassidility refers to the Hasidic Orthodox sect; the second, spelled tefillin, refers to the small leather boxes (also called phylacteries) containing verses from the Torah that observant Jews strap to their arms during morning prayers.