Nancy Weber, September 24, 1966

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NORMAN MAILER’s Letters
565 Commercial Street
Provincetown, Massachusetts
September 24, 1966

Dear Nancy,[1]

I’m sorry to take so long to answer, but I haven’t gone near my mail in two months, and now I’m hacking my way through.  It’s the only way to stay alive. As for the film An American Dream, I haven’t seen it, but then I hardly suppose you have to.  The only thing is, I wouldn’t do an interview because I think if you sell something to Hollywood you’re one of the whores in the deal, and a whore shouldn’t complain about other whores, for that’s the basis of all comedy, so we’ll leave it at that.

I’ll be back in New York in November, and a few of us are going to produce The Deer Park Off-Broadway.[2] We were doing it up here this summer. Maybe we can do an interview then.

Incidentally, although I think it can’t be easy on you, I’m glad you’re off the Post. You’re much too skillful an interviewer, let alone a writer, to work for that “schlockeria.”

Love and all,
Norman Mailer
This page is part of
An American Dream Expanded.

Notes

  1. Weber’s interview with Mailer appeared in the March 1965 issue of Books, the literary supplement of the New York Post. It is one of only a few interviews he gave on the novel before it was published. Mailer did not know anything at the time about how Warner Brothers intended to film the novel and speculated in the interview on whether Frank Sinatra could play Stephen Rojack.  He also discussed the possibility of making An American Dream the first volume of a quartet in the manner of The Alexandria Quartet of Lawrence Durrell, and commented on how An American Dream had its roots in his November 1960 Esquire essay on J.F.K., “Superman Comes to the Supermarket.” On the advice of friends, Mailer never saw the film version of the novel.
  2. The Deer Park was turned into a play by Mailer and ran from 31 January to 21 May 1967 at the Off-Broadway Theatre de Lys.