Lipton’s Journal/January 24, 1955/252

From Project Mailer

Children’s eating. Animals know the food they need, simple animals. Rats in laboratories eating white powders at will and thriving better than their controls who are given the best administered diets. But that is because animals have a single nervous system.

Children are born with a single nervous system, the homeodynamic, but the years of their childhood are the years when the sociostatic nervous system is set into the child. It is obviously a turbulent abrupt set of victories and defeats for the two systems, and so one is working and then the other. Therefore, simply, there are times when children eat exactly what they need; there are other times when their eating is completely sociostatic and very bad for them.

Homeodynamic eating always preserves life. Sociostatic eating is to preserve society, lull rebellion, but in the process the body may be injured. Sweet poisonings for example coming out of the languorous libidinous frustrations of the wrestler-giver. Which is what fat people very often are—certain kinds of fat people, Adeline,[1] Jenny Silverman,[2] others. Guinevere.


  1. A college friend of Mailer’s sister Barbara, Adeline Lubell Naiman (1927-) met Mailer in 1946. In 1947, as an editor at Little, Brown, Naiman argued unsuccessfully against Bernard DeVoto for the acceptance of The Naked and the Dead, published a year later by Rinehart.
  2. Mother of Mailer’s first wife Bea.