Lipton’s Journal/February 21, 1955/631

From Project Mailer

My sore throat. After the installment of the journal last week, I came down with one of my terrible sore throats. For one day I stayed in bed, for another I took antibiotics. No effect. Then I decided it was psychosomatic and, more than that, valid. That is, I wished to have it, the Juggler had given it to me in order to freeze a certain process. Well, one cannot force a process. So I accepted it, I ignored it, I made love with it which means among other things that I put my mouth wherever I wished—hang the germs!—and I got a little better.

And then Saturday night I asked Rhoda[1] about it for she had gone to a Reichian,[2] and Rhoda said I should scream. So I practiced screaming into a pillow (very hard for me—I always have enormous tension in the throat), which is why savages rarely kiss and civilized people do. The sup relocates lerve in the mouth, the ass, the breasts, the hips, everywhere. (Savages particularly in Tahiti, which is very mild suppishly, undoubtedly get their sex much more directly from their genitals).

Then we had Tea-Time, the radio program. Then later Adele[3] and I made love. I woke up with four hours of sleep and my throat practically all better. Today it is just a tiny bit sore, but I don’t mind it. I realized that I got my sore throats four times in the last few years, each before taking a big step forward. After the first I conceived The Deer Park, after the second Adele and I began to live in the same cold-water flat, after the third we lived together as nominal husband and wife in Mexico, that wild er country, and the fourth was last summer when we went to Mexico and were effectively beginning our real legal marriage.

So I have hopes for this sore throat. The longer is lasts, the more may come of it. I am rather tempted to go to a Reichian for a little while, especially since there is no verbal psychoanalysis which would merely get me into an all-out war with the analyst.


  1. Lifelong friend of Mailer’s sister Barbara, Rhoda Lazare (b. 1926) was introduced to her husband, Daniel Wolf, by Mailer.
  2. An Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who worked with Freud, Reich (1897-1957), and was the author of many clinical works, including The Function of the Orgasm (1942). He fled to the U.S. when the Nazis came to power. His eccentric and controversial theory of orgone energy, and the phone-booth size orgone accumulators he invented, got him into legal trouble and he was sent to federal prison where he died. Mailer was influenced by Reich’s ideas about sexual repression and character armor, and built his own orgone box.
  3. 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.