Lipton’s Journal/February 14, 1955/613

From Project Mailer

My sore throat seems gone. Now, my chest aches. From cigarette inhaling? Sigh-of-regret inhaling? Is a cigarette cough the bark of anger which is the echo of the sigh of regret? Vance Bourjaily[1] once wrote that a penis was that “slippery bridge from which one of us tries to reach another.” It’s the best line he ever wrote. I wonder if a cigarette is not indeed the bridge of sighs which goes nowhere.


  1. He wrote to Mailer in the summer of 1951 with praise for Barbary Shore, and they immediately became friends. Bourjaily (1922-2010), whose novels include The Violated (1958), introduced Mailer to John W. Aldridge, who co-edited Discovery, a literary annual, with Bourjaily. Mailer’s short story, “The Dead Gook,” appeared in the first number in 1952, around the same time that Bourjaily introduced Mailer to James Jones.