Lipton’s Journal/January 26, 1955/307

From Project Mailer

I’m getting weary, and I’d better leave word echoes and consonant relationships because I’m trying to go too fast, and so half the time I’m probably all wet. If I don’t use some discrimination I’ll be founding a sect halfway between the Rosicrucians[1] and the Reichians.[2] Bless Malaquais.[3] He saved me years by teaching me that one does not necessarily have to act—that there are times when action is impossible. If I hadn’t learned that I’d be setting up the letter-heads for the Mailerians. Anyway, one last thing about letters. I suspect that vowels are soul expressions of the self, shadings, colorings, of I. And consonants probably are more related to things outside the self, or to emotions which seem to come from outside forces such as rage for r, piss for p and s.


  1. Rosicrucianism is an international organization that claims access to ancient, occult wisdom. It includes teachings from Gnosticism and other religions. The name derives from the symbol of a rose atop a cross.
  2. An Austrian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst who worked with Freud, Reich (1897-1957), and was the author of many clinical works, including The Function of the Orgasm (1942). He fled to the U.S. when the Nazis came to power. His eccentric and controversial theory of orgone energy, and the phone-booth size orgone accumulators he invented, got him into legal trouble and he was sent to federal prison where he died. Mailer was influenced by Reich’s ideas about sexual repression and character armor, and built his own orgone box.
  3. A Polish Jew (real name Vladimir Malacki) whose parents perished in the Holocaust, Jean Malaquais (1909-98) was a veteran of the Spanish Civil War. Mailer has often said that Malaquais influenced him intellectually more than anyone else. They met in Paris in 1947 and became close friends a year later when Malaquais was translating The Naked and the Dead into French. Malaquais and his first wife Galy lived with the Mailers when they spent a year in Hollywood, 1949-50. During their time together, Malaquais, who wrote several novels, informally tutored Mailer on leftist thought and the history of the Russian Revolution. See Mailer’s “My Friend, Jean Malaquais,” an introduction to Malaquais’s 1954 novel, The Joker, rpt., Pieces and Pontifications.