Lipton’s Journal/January 24, 1955/243

From Project Mailer

Writer’s blocks exist because the writer is in danger. His sociostatic forces are mobilized against where his homeostatic urges are leading him, and if the danger is great enough, nothing will come out. Life is pure depression. What is a more usual case is that the writer advances slowly against his sociostasis, burdened with depression.

A novel is the record of a sociostatic retreat if it is a great or good novel. A bad novel is the record of a sociostasis advance (all this of course relative to the talents, the danger, and homeostatic energy of the creator) and the bad novel being the record of a sociostatic advance is written usually more rapidly and with more satisfaction until the hangover comes—the homeostatic urges (homeodynamic[1] would be a much better word)—Now, I’ve got it.

Homeostasis is not homeostatic at all. It is homeodynamism vs. sociostasis—The hangover comes because homeodynamic forces are enraged at the self and shame is felt. Thus: for people: Homeodynamic expression arouses emotions of guilt which are generated by sociostasis. Sociostatic expression arouses emotions of shame which are generated by homeodynamism. Thus guilt and shame are not close—They are Polar.[2]


  1. In a physiological sense, homeostasis is the normal condition of the body regulated by bodily processes that maintain a dynamically controlled equilibrium that counteract external influences. Mailer uses it in a slightly different way as the “most healthy act possible at any moment for the soul” (223) that resists sociostasis, or conformity to the imposed behaviors of the external world. Here, Mailer substitutes homeodynamism as a more accurate word to express the possible movement of the force of creativity, vitality, and rebellion in the individual.
  2. In the margin, Mailer wrote “Rewrite” indicating the entire entry.