Lipton’s Journal/January 25, 1955/260
But I wanted to finish the note before this. Herr Bergler (what’s in a name?) wrote a book Divorce Won’t Help. No doubt he sees himself as a giant holding his enormous lever in the machine so the wheels can’t turn. People are static and bound forever in their characters. Only Bergler can let them see their characters and accept them. But this is crap, and deep-down he knows it. People change. People change. It is part of their magnificence. Just as the body changes every instant of our existence, so too do people. And the and never remain static although they may be locked in the depression of trench warfare for a decade and then another decade. We change, and as we change we need another mother-father embodiment, one who is closer to us. So divorce can help, and often it does.
- An Austrian psychoanalyst and early follower of Freud, Edmund Bergler (1899-1962) focused on masochism and homosexuality in his many books and articles. He believed homosexuality was a neurosis that could be cured, and saw homosexuals as unscrupulous psychic masochists. Bergler is Mailer’s whipping boy in Lipton’s.
- Bergler’s 1948 book argued that divorce usually didn’t solve the fundamental psychological problems of individuals.