Lipton’s Journal/January 25, 1955/264

From Project Mailer

Since I started this Journal I have been feeling happier than I have in my whole life. So much has been released and so much created—because for me release and creation are parallel expressions of the same thing. But underneath it persists a feeling that I am going to die soon which perhaps is why I entrust each installment of the journal to the mails. I even caught myself thinking just now that perhaps I would write at this journal for the next year or two, and there would be thousands of pages, and then pop I would go—which makes me sad rather than depressed because for the first time in my life I really want to live, how I want to live. But anyway I then thought, “There must be literary executors,” and I thought of Cy[1] and Adele[2] and possibly my sister, and Danny Wolf,[3] and very much my father, and as chief executor, Bob Lindner[4] of course. And then I thought of how that would pain Adele and yet it would be necessary, for so much of this journal would be painful to her, and so she could not exercise her genuine literary taste.

But what also occurs to me is that Bob too has feelings about dying early.[5] Perhaps the emotion has no bodily significance—it is only the retiring cannonades of sociostasis which with its cunning knows that people who are highly sensitive and put trust in their sensitivity are most prone to the suggestion of death for they believe what their brain tells them. Only I suspect for both Bob and me that it’s the S part of our brain which is talking and not the H. The H is giving the happiness now—it knows I’m going to live to a healthy old age like my father.



notes

  1. Mailer’s first cousin, Charles Rembar (1915-2000), was a prominent First Amendment lawyer, who successfully defended the publication of banned books such as Lady Chatterley’s Lover and Tropic of Cancer. He was Mailer’s lawyer for over three decades.
  2. Adele Morales (1925-2015), who he married in April 1954, was Mailer’s second wife. The mother of his daughters Danielle (b.1957), and Elizabeth Anne (b. 1959), she separated from Mailer in early 1961 a few months after he stabbed her with a penknife, just missing her heart. He pled guilty to felonious assault and was given a suspended sentence. They divorced in 1962.
  3. A close friend of Mailer’s in the 1950s, Daniel Wolf (1915-96), the co-founder of the Village Voice, introduced Mailer to his second wife, Adele Morales.
  4. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914-56) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by NM’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.
  5. Lindner was prescient. He died of coronary heart disease in 1956 at the age of 41.