Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/370
Elena is a failure in The Deer Park because she is a degraded image of Adele. I wrote Elena as my defense against loving Adele, but in creating Elena my defense was dissipated. That is the peculiar danger and stimulation of the artist, particularly the writer—as The Burglar says—he writes away his defense.
- Elena Esposito is the lover and later wife of Charles Eitel in The Deer Park. Their love affair is one of Mailer’s finest fictional creations. NM based her character on his wife Adele.
- 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.
- 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.