Lipton’s Journal/January 31, 1955/379

From Project Mailer

A note on my Self-Analysis. I’m not doing it a la Horney.[1] I do it in blocks. I do it by commenting on the world, by expressing myself, by Liptoning up, by fucking, by feeling. There is no formal analysis as such, yet I believe that if nothing else happens and this were all to stop tomorrow that my relation to my parents, and my way of seeing things could never be quite the same again.

So, something is definitely happening. It suggests that I am doing my analysis in the way proper for me which is through creativity—taking into the self, synthesizing, and giving back. The analysand given to the conventional analyst is run through a stamping machine. The same technique like the bed of society (the bed of Bluebeard[2] which stretched legs and chopped off feet) is applied to everyone.

If there are differences among analysts, rebellions, they are immediately converted into mutinies, sects, cults, schools. But very few analysts are capable of employing different techniques, radically different techniques as a matter of course with every patient. Adele’s[3] analyst strikes me as being rather remarkable under his German sociismus front. He had her sit up—which basically is the expression the analyst gives when he is uncertain what the hell to do with this patient. Another analyst would have seen Adele as little Spic with despised image—try to make her accept herself, get a nice husband at her level, etc. Booth[4] recognized that Adele was tortured, unique, and many things potentially, but what he just could not say. So he had her sit up, had her analysis go on “supportively.” He did not want to make her go back to her beginning, but on the other hand he could not see her future. So he waited until I came along and then decided a headache was off his hands. But at the same time he did not try to ruin her, to direct her, deep in him he had a feeling for her.


  1. In 1942, Karen Horney published Self-Analysis, which outlines the possibilities and difficulties of carrying out self-analysis without an analyst. Mailer’s methodology, as he explains, is much less formal, and includes self-expression, drugs and sex.
  2. Mailer confuses Bluebeard with Procrustes, a son of Poseidon who, in the Greek myth, cuts off or stretches the limbs of travelers to fit the bed he offers them for the night.
  3. 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.
  4. Adele’s analyst.