Lipton’s Journal/January 26, 1955/288

From Project Mailer

Bob Lindner[1] is in the dramatic electric intellectual situation he has been seeking all his life and which he approached in “The Jet-Propelled Couch.”[2] He has to wonder if I am going toward genius or psychosis, and with his fabulous intuitions he sensed dimly a long time ago that the heart of the enigma of life can be found here.


  1. A prominent Baltimore psychoanalyst and writer, Robert Lindner (1914 – 1956) became acquainted with Mailer after reading Lindner’s 1952 sharp critique of current psychoanalytic practice, Prescription for Rebellion (1952), published by Mailer’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.
  2. A chapter from Lindner’s 1955 collection, The Fifty-Minute Hour. Each chapter of the collection is a case study of one of his clients. In this one, Lindner discusses a man who thought he was living part of his life on another planet. It appeared first in Harper’s, December 1954. Lindner was a fluent writer, and his essay in an important magazine spurred Mailer’s competitive instincts.