Lipton’s Journal/February 7, 1955/436

From Project Mailer

The opening into myself occurred again over the weekend, and I have disgorged such vast masses of material and understanding that to develop them properly would take years, a lifetime. What I notice over and over again in these notes is that every single idea I have started with starts as a cliché. The early pages of this journal are ridden with clichés.

What excites Bob[1] and makes him believe that I am really “on to something,” (Interesting phrasing—the crook in Bob sees knowledge as manipulation, power—which is why he goes forward, to become a better bigger more powerful crook—the irony is that the crook has the best understanding of honesty because he moves against it, and so in moving against it, in being a giver, he takes honesty—the giver as I have said before is the explorer seeking to locate the world. Once Bob begins to take, as indeed he is taking now—what characterizes him I am willing to bet is that in the old days he was completely, actively, that it is, a giver. Now, as the years go on, he takes more and more—so his dishonesty is converted to honesty.) What a long digression. There are going to be endless parentheses today.

I started to write, “What excites Bob and makes him believe I’m on to something”—that is, dominating it,—is that each cliché opens out. And as it opens I discover more and more. The wisdom of all of mankind is buried in clichés. The common people use them. More dominated, but less S-oriented, and quite un-verbal—H people usually are—the cliché for them opens them to their souls.

The banal conversations one has in an elevator or in a restaurant about weather or how the days fly are the most profound conversations. They are truly philosophical if at a very low level. For weather is Nature which man must dominate in order to live like a king, and the calendar is Time, it is Society, which too man must dominate if he is to live like a saint-lover. (Another parenthesis. The perspective of a better future is that the saint-psychopath becomes the saint-lover. Lovers in the sexual act are always—by our growing understanding of the word—psychopathic. When one fucks, one is at the heart of the present. A good fuck suspends Time—it opens it into an enormous present where one is a king, a God, and one’s mate is a Queen, a Goddess.)

AP (Which I use from now on as “another parenthesis”): The reason so many homosexuals are snobs and furnish their places in “period style” is that their relations seem to them in some deep part of them to be the relations of two kings, making concordats, entertaining one another in pomp. Which is why they’re snobs, reactionaries, and aristocrats so often in their attitudes and manners—the fancy homosexual partakes of the monster—he is a throwback to the time when only a king could express the whims (which are the deep desires) of his soul.


  1. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914 – 1956) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by Mailer’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.