Lipton’s Journal/January 20, 1955/208
The night Bob spoke about Styron being through as a writer, I have the suspicion he was unconsciously talking to me directly, for I know he was deeply worried about me. Juan Bilbao talking to Bette Ford about Pat McCormick being through was actually warning Bette, and gloating over her future downfall with the part of him that hates Bette for all the abuse she gives him. As a general clue it might be worth noting when we hear a person talking over and over about how someone is through which of the people in the room (including the speaker) is really meant.
- One of Mailer’s closest literary friends in the early 1950s, Styron (1925-2006) became famous with his first novel, Lie Down in Darkness (1951). Mailer admired it, and also The Long March (1956). Their friendship collapsed over a demeaning comment Styron allegedly made about Adele, and they remained estranged until the mid-1980s.
- Mailer met this trio at bullfights in Mexico. Ford (b. 1937), and Patricia McCormick (1929-2013) were the first American women bullfighters. Don Juan Bilbao was their manager.