The Mailer Review/Volume 1, 2007/An American Dream: The Singular Nightmare

From Project Mailer
« The Mailer ReviewVolume 1 Number 1 • 2007 • Inaugural Issue »
Written by
Donald L. Kaufmann
Abstract: Mailer’s fourth novel can be read as sardonic social criticism and a dramatic critique on those nuances underlining the ambiguous values in contemporary America, on those individual roots of American aspirations and ideals. For Mailer, the collective ideal is a civilized composite of everyone’s primitive desires.[a]

New directions, even in Mailer’s fiction — “An American Dream is a departure from practically anything I have done before.”[1] — contain vestiges of the old, and Mailer’s fourth novel can be read (as most critics and reviewers have done) as sardonic social criticism. National ideals seem under attack, as New York, Jack Kennedy, Las Vegas, Marilyn Monroe impart a satiric tone to Rojack’s dream. Just before his encounter with Barney Oswald Kelly, the current tycoon, Rojack enters the Waldorf and sees “a nineteenth-century clock, eight feet high with a bas relief of faces: Franklin, Jackson, Lincoln, Cleveland, Washington, Grant, Harrison, and Victoria; 1888 the year.”[2] At such times, the theme of national dream turned nightmare seems as obvious as the title suggests. It instead is an outgrowth of Mailer’s great admiration of Dreiser’s An American Tragedy which represents (in Mailer’s words) an “end of a period” or “a way of looking at things.” If rewritten for the contemporary milieu, Dreiser’s book would “no longer be a tragedy; it would be a dream,” because in the last forty years, there has been a “transition in consciousness in the character of our times” which has “moved us from the state of the tragedy to the state of the dream.”[1] Here Mailer is paraphrasing an earlier idea: “there is a subterranean river of untapped, ferocious, lonely and romantic desires, that concentration of ecstasy and violence which is the dream life of the nation.”[3]

Mailer’s An American Dream does not focus on the gross Dream of an America crisscrossed with telephone wires and television antennas, whose fad of the Sixties is the conquest of the moon. Rather Mailer’s novel, based on total cultural delicacies, is a dramatic critique on those nuances underlining the ambiguous values in contemporary America, on those individual roots of American aspirations and ideals. And what results are peculiar inversions — for does not every American male, lulled by mass media sex and violence, secretly wish to commit incest or murder his wife? Such individual fantasies become nightmares when interpreted by the cultural norm. For Mailer, the collective ideal is a civilized composite of everyone’s primitive desires. The American Dream becomes another cultural mode of regimenting the individual, of rarefying and stultifying his true nature. To exist in one’s own dream world is to avoid having one’s ideals institutionalized. Mailer’s fourth novel isolates one such dream. As his protagonist acts out his dream, the reader can see what stuff American dreams are made of — all the magic of murder and sex and a one-way trip to the moon.

Apart from its implied social criticism, Mailer’s latest novel (his first in ten years) reveals new directions in his fiction. Replacing the use of the microcosm in his first three novels is the serial structure. Originally appearing in eight installments in Esquire, An American Dream is organized through a series of small crises, but unlike those based on action with an emotional climax ending each episode. More experimental, Mailer’s latest work is a philosophical novel in serial form and what determines the shape of each episode is the existential possibilities underlining the plot. Supplementary to such a plot are the many coincidences that significantly interlock the various characters, as if Rojack’s dream were timed by the magic of events. Since action and character may seem too unbelievable, Mailer counters fantastic content with a realistic presentation. The extraordinary must seem ordinary. Point-of-view is simplified. This is Mailer’s first novel with a unified sensibility, as Rojack relates all from his immediate present. His account is remarkably lucid and coherent despite his verging on insanity. Throughout, Rojack narrates with an existential eye which gives equal time to the abnormal and the commonplace. The novel’s setting also contributes to Mailer’s blend of dream and reality. In the midst of the mythic atmosphere stands New York, as real as a guided tour. Local color excels. Streets, buildings, the idiom all establish a mood of New York. The time is March, nature’s time for positive change, a season to match the delicate transition between growth and decay in the protagonist. The handling of time is also less complex in Mailer’s latest novel. Here there are no “Time Machines,” hazy reveries or future visions. Thirty-two hours of Rojack’s life are related in an intense chronological manner. Mailer also manipulates time in its larger aspects. Framing his novel, especially at its beginning, are various historical figures (Jack Kennedy, Mrs. Roosevelt, Henry Wallace, Glen Taylor) — allusions that soon disappear and thereby magnify the isolated and intimate nature of Rojack’s one-man history.

The principle that governs Rojack’s thirty-two hour history is also the thesis of his university teaching — “Magic, dread and perceptions of death as the center of motivation.”[4] Or, as developed in a lecture: On The Primitive View of Mystery:

Rojack’s greatest “theft” or the novel’s central act is the murder of his wife. And the “price” Rojack “paid” provides the basis for the novel’s plot. But this is not a “Crime and Punishment” novel in the usual sense. As his crime pertains to the institutional modes of retributive law, Rojack goes completely unpunished; the “not quite definable disaster” that punishes has no meaning outside the self. Dread is an internal condition that Rojack can only experience when alienated from everything but the reality of his dream. Basic to his dream vision is “an instinctive belief” that the gods may judge a murderer as a usurper of their power over life and death. To murder is to play god, which stirs up established gods: “And I at this moment was buried in fear. No, men were afraid of murder, but not from a terror of justice so much as the knowledge that a killer attracted the attention of the gods; then your mind was not your own, your anxiety ceased to be neurotic, your dread was real.”[6] Rojack’s “dream” tells of a mode of crime and a form of punishment known only to Rojack and his creator.

Otherwise, Mailer is as predictably unpredictable as ever. The way magic, dread and death are perceived so thoroughly commits Rojack to an encounter with the “cultural abyss” (murder, suicide, incest, cannibalism) that his experience should be more nightmare than dream. And yet, the novel’s ultimate effect is equally fanciful and horrible. These contrary moods are dual products of Rojack’s psychology. When he totally internalizes (during his murder of his wife and his walk around the parapet) he communicates a strong and direct sense of fear and dread, but when he shifts his consciousness to the outer world, the intensity slackens and the mood lightens. The world always impinging on Rojack’s nightmare is grounded in a kind of magic which is markedly simple, almost naive. It includes patchwork allusions to superstitions, curses, the magic number three, animistic birds, and evil eyes — and other manifestations that belong in any primer on magic. Such unsophisticated and light modes of magic strongly contrast the complex and dark workings of Rojack’s mind. What results is a dual mood. Every serious, near-tragic moment in Rojack’s experience is complemented by one that is light, near-comic. The latter takes place when Rojack fully exposes himself to the mood of magic without dread, as in his relationship with Cherry. It begins and develops in an atmosphere of gaiety and happiness. Wit and imagination enchant them. Eventually, their affair is consummated on the side of the “silver witch” through the magic of rapport. Despite Rojack’s flashes of dread and Cherry’s spells of pensiveness, what dominates their relationship is their mutual spontaneity and empathy that creates an interlude of artless happiness. Even at the tragic end, during Cherry’s death scene, their mutual understatement in place of the sentimental goodbye implies that their past cannot be erased in time. Of this relationship, the impression that Rojack (and the reader) retains is colored by a magic which transcends the American “plague” with its purity and simplicity. For once, white magic has outlasted the black, and Rojack’s’ affair with Cherry remains more dream than nightmare. But elsewhere in Rojack’s experience, magic constantly veers between black and white, as if the worlds of experience and innocence are in deadlocked conflict.

This is most clearly dramatized in the meeting between Rojack and Deirdre, his step-daughter. It occurs just before Rojack’s encounter with ultimate evil in the form of Barney Kelly. But first, Rojack must isolate himself with pure innocence and his whole scene with Deirdre represents an idyllic pause in his nightmare, a glimpse of paradise in order to understand the descent to hell. Like Monina in Barbary Shore, Deirdre is a child paradox. At twelve, she is another untarnished angel existing in a sordid, materialistic world. Educated in an European convent, she gives off a spiritual aura, speaking in a “disembodied” voice, an echo of a nun. She remains alienated from her “Mummy’s” awful bitchiness and Grandfather Kelly’s two hundred million dollars worth of callousness. This is reflected in her steadfast sympathy and affection for her step-father. Rojack, on meeting her, feels “suddenly happy”; he is impressed with her sincere grief, is touched when she expresses her loneliness and affection through her desire to stay with him after “Mummy’s” funeral. In one sense, Deirdre appears in Rojack’s dream as an agent of innocence and purity. But, like Monina, she is also an adult grotesque. Though untarnished by materialism, she is certainly touched with magic: “She was nothing but eyes”[7] — a haunting reminder: like mother, like daughter. Because “she always spoke like an adult,”[8] Deirdre fascinates and puzzles Rojack with her blend of eerie superstitions and mystical revelations — that Deborah is not yet dead because she hinted that she belongs to a species of beasts “which stays alive three days after they die.”[9] Rojack suddenly feels dread encroach on his happiness. Then just as suddenly he marvels at this twelve year old’s wisdom in regard to him and Cherry: “People want to make love after a death.”[10] Besides her insight into the mysteries of sex and death, she has a flair for impressionistic verse (“And share my fools for bread”). Such versatility and novelty in adult thought and feeling clearly mark Deirdre as a vital force in Rojack’s dream — the possibilities of sharing extremes in mood beyond ordinary experience in time. Rojack hints as much, when he puts her in bed: “She was a child again.”[9] Part-adult part-child, Deirdre exists in a superstitious void between womanhood and childhood, and thereby enables Rojack to sense all the nuances between joyful innocence and sorrowful experience. Her very name — made famous by the legendary Irish princess, who out of sorrow for her slain lover committed suicide — suggests she is cursed by her mother’s incest, the embodiment of future sorrow. Yet, the quality of present sorrow is made tender to the highest degree. In the entire Mailer canon there is nothing to compare with the following:

Sorrow momentarily relaxes and lulls Rojack, a state of mind immediately dispelled by the anxiety during his violent encounter with Kelly. Within minutes, Rojack must make his sensations match any extreme in mood. Mailer (in depicting Rojack’s farewell to Deirdre) has never been so close to sentimentality, and Rojack (in sharing Deirdre’s need to be loved) has never been so close to innocence. Even a murderer can sense his time to create if he loses himself in the magic of mood.

Apart from accommodating Rojack to mood, Mailer is also manipulating the mood between himself and his readers. His guiding principle is borrowed from Marx — “quantity changes quality” — which Mailer terms “my favorite remark in all the world.”[1] Marx’s concept provides the basis of Mailer’s conscious attempt to blend two historical milieus. At first, the quality of Rojack’s experience seems rooted in modern America. Names (“Jack Kennedy”), dates (November, 1946), and places (Alexandria, Virginia) abound, until a restricted sense of time and space seems assured. Then Rojack introduces the atmosphere of his dream (internal fancy mixed with dread) and as Rojack’s oblique visions pervade the action, modern America gradually takes on medieval characteristics.

Rojack’s dream-vision, the core of the novel, seems like a modern counterpart of the dream-allegory, a conventional type of medieval literature. The characters, as metamorphosized by Rojack, resemble a medieval bestiary. There is Deborah and her “scent of the carnivore in a zoo,”[11] and Shago Martin whose “wind” is like “a poisonous snake of mood”[12] — a gallery of humans transformed into beasts, a kind of modern beast-epic. Even the hierarchical structure is a curious blend of the modern and medieval. In addition to the modern criteria of wealth and power, the medieval yardstick of good and evil is used as an index to hierarchy. But according to Rojack’s interpretation, the medieval concept of good at the top extending down to evil at the bottom is reversed. Evil, in modern America, resides at the top (Kelly, Ganucci, Deborah ), and the hierarchy extends down to those who are relatively good though powerless (Roberts, Cherry, Deirdre). The medieval also marks Kelly’s history. On Kelly’s door, Rojack finds “a medallion beneath the knocker . . . a lion rampant; 2, 3, sable, serpent argent . . . And the motto: Victoria in Caelo Terraque.”[13] Such traditional allusions (lion, serpent, motto) to Satan transfigure a modern tycoon into a medieval Beelzebub, and Rojack’s literal ascent to the Waldorf Towers is also a figurative descent to a kind of Dantean hell — another example of Mailer’s use of the Age of Faith in opposition to the current faith in power and wealth. Eternal verities (so black and white in the medieval vision) are now a tentative grey, a moral relativity so profound that only a dream-vision can begin to comprehend it. Another way Mailer submerges modern America in the medieval milieu is through superstition. Almost every character, despite a surface sophistication, is obsessed with superstition. Older modes associated with Catholicism (the Irish Kelly’s, the Italian Mangaravidis’) predominate; the unknown terrifies and omens intrigue Mailer’s New Yorkers as if Rojack’s dream had resurrected medieval minds. Even Rojack’s acute sense of psychic smell (which reveal to him the condition of the body and the state of the minds of the others) can be construed as Mailer’s up-dating the medieval theory of body humours. As for topography: Rome, the center of the medieval world, has its counterpart in New York, the center of modern America. But the idea of an Eternal City is but a vestige in the American imagination; now the best to be had is a “heavenly city” offered by a murderer. Rojack, like Dante, also wishes to glimpse the other-world; numerous times he refers to a “heavenly city” — a vision first taking shape when he pauses at the threshold of murder: “heaven was there, some quiver of jeweled cities shining in the glow of a tropic dusk.”[14] Or later, after a sex climax with Ruta, he has “a vision immediately after of a huge city in the desert, in some desert, was it a place on the moon?”[15] This question is answered in the Epilogue — “The Harbors of the Moon Again” — because Rojack pauses at Las Vegas, where magic and dread are reduced to a roll of the dice and a spin of the wheel. With its incongruous atmospheres — “the sun at one hundred and two” and “the seventy degrees of air-conditioned oxygen”[16] — Las Vegas seems like a transplanted bottom of Dantian hell with its dual punishment of heat and cold. Rojack’s dream concludes with the knowledge that what passes for paradise in America is really hell.

Making Las Vegas Rojack’s temporary “harbor” is Mailer’s ironic footnote to a crime without any ultimate reward or punishment. At best, Rojack must salvage those possibilities of judging himself by seeking more authentic expressions of magic and dread in jungles outside America. The novel ends with Rojack’s dream incomplete. To have completed it would have resulted in Mailer’s blending still another milieu with the modern and medieval — that of the primitive. A dream’s original quality — America of the early 1960’s — has long since given way to the quantity of Rojack’s vision which exists outside ordinary space and time. Mailer’s use of the Marxian “quantity changes quality” makes Rojack’s dream so singular that it becomes universal.

Marx’s concept also helps determine Mailer’s role as the writer of An American Dream. One quality that a reader would normally expect from a novel is a cause and effect relationship (no matter how complex) in regard to theme, characterization, action and mood. But Mailer, talking about An American Dream, maintains that — “I wanted to write a novel of action, of suspense, of character, of manners against a violent background . . . any intellectual aspects of An American Dream will have to be dredged up by the critics”[1] At first glance, Mailer’s statements make his novel an open secret, not to mention a secret to success, because few readers and critics would expect a nonintellectual book by an arch-intellectual like Mailer. But exactly how “open” is Mailer’s stance as novelist who plays down intellect, especially after an energetic ten years with the essay. An American Dream may be not a novel of statement (as in the essay) but it is nevertheless filled with implication by image. Intellectual substance is replaced by a kind of intellectual shadow-boxing, on Mailer’s part, in the form of a maze of suggestiveness, recurring objects, situations and actions that tantalize with a significance that is seldom clarified. Apparent symbols are not what they seem, as effects appear to exist without causes. Examples are numerous. Throughout, Rojack directs his attention to body extremities. On his first suicidal gesture on the balcony, he is “able better to breathe with one toe pointing at the moon”[17] — and toes and fingers continue to be featured in Rojack’s dream apparently to reflect (among other things) the extremity in his actions. There is also an abundance of bird imagery, from bats to canaries, but its exact symbolic meaning (spiritualization or supernatural aid and/or flights of fancy?) never crystallizes. Even more mystifying are those allusions to sex and scatology, as sperm and bowel movements vie to be the greater mystery in Rojack’s dream. A reader cannot be expected to comprehend much more than the narrator. And this is Mailer’s intention — much will be implied, little will be substantiated. An American Dream, with its tantalizing cluster of images, metaphors and near-symbols, is a novel of suggestion, not explanation, a trap for any critic or reader on a symbol hunt. This new direction in Mailer’s fiction may have been prompted by the serial structure imposed on him. Pressing deadlines will not be met, especially if a novel is given a studied, systematic presentation. Instead, why not let the quantity of magic (in a novel about magic) change the quality of both the writer and his fiction? If magic is the art of producing effects in the absence of causes, then why not become the novelist as magician who writes a book filled with effects without any causes. Mailer’s strategy is, at least, functional since his novel about magic is also based on the aesthetics of magic.

American literary history is a source for still another one of Mailer’s new directions — “An American Dream in a funny way becomes a novel of manners.”[1] As a literary critic, Mailer has elsewhere commented on the traditional role of the novel of manners in American literature. In opposition to the Dreiser school (“whose roots were found in poverty, industrial society, and the emergence of new class”) is a “genteel literature which had little to do with power or the secrets of power. They encouraged a literature about courtship and marriage and love and play and devotion and piety and style, a literature which had to do finally with the excellence of belonging to their own genteel tradition.”[18] An American Dream, as a novel of manners, hardly fits such a definition. Undoubtedly, Mailer’s qualifying phrase (“in a funny way”) implies that he has attempted a new direction — combining the novel of manners with the novel of violence. To accomplish this, the finesse of the drawing room and the know-how of the underworld must have equal value in order to avoid the norms of social behavior. Or, as Mailer describes it: “murder brings out extremes in people, brings out extremes in their manners,” and when manners “are pushed to their extreme,” they become “more artful and elaborate.”[1]

In the novel, Rojack must learn how to manipulate manners at their most extreme. His survival, as a murder suspect, depends on whether he can alternate, according to the situation, between being polite and being politic. The central image that demonstrates Rojack’s external manners is the telephone. Most of Chapter 5 — “A Catenary of Manners” — concerns Rojack’s “artful” responses to a series of telephone calls from Arthur (the producer of his television show), Dr. Tharchman (his department head at the university), and Gigot (Deborah’s zaney and superstitious friend). Besides giving Mailer (through Rojack) the opportunity to satirize the hypocrisy of the mass-media, the smugness of the academy, and the silliness of the wealthy, these telephone conversations also represent Rojack’s ordeal in the world of external manners. His behavior must reinforce society’s one-sided view of crime and punishment with its oversimplified truth: moderation is impossible in a murderer. This is the stuff of the many moods that Rojack encounters. When he makes his extreme thoughts and acts by a show of moderation, he must remember that (in Mailer’s words) “all manners consist of is not breaking the mood.”[1] In attempting this, Rojack exercises much versatility in his reactions to the moods of others. The cat-and-mouse episodes between Roberts (the genteel Irish cop) and Rojack hinge on each man’s ability to understand and respect the other’s mood. Roberts pursues with psychological kindness and Rojack responds with tactics to avoid capture, though preferably without the other suffering any loss of face. This genial cops-and-robbers continues to the end. When Cherry’s death makes him feel sad and frustrated, Rojack appreciates Roberts’ stubborn refusal to “break” the mood — “The Irish are the only men who know how to cry for the dirty polluted blood of all the world.”[19] Such rapport with manners is rare; usually, other people “break” Rojack’s mood and survival depends on his not breaking theirs. The manners of a murderer must be supremely “artful.” Rojack’s most intense competitor in the art of manners is Kelly who “had two separate manners, one, British; the other, American; you had to learn to distinguish. The British was clipped, jolly, full of tycoon; he might have you knifed but dependably you would receive a full twinkle as the order went down. The American was hard in the eyes.”[20] Kelly begins a game, a tension of manners. His British manner seems conciliatory when he asks Rojack to attend Deborah’s funeral because “it doesn’t matter what is done in private. What is important is the public show — it must be flawless. Because public show is the language we use to tell our friends and enemies that we still have order enough to make a good display.”[21] When Rojack refuses (“I really don’t care what people say”), Kelly decides to “push” manners to their extreme. The mood intensifies; it approaches madness, as Kelly matches Rojack’s fascination with murder and suicide with his own obsession with incest and orgy. Finally Kelly projects the extreme in his American manner and dares Rojack to join him and Ruta in an orgy.

Kelly’s strategy (“shall we get shitty”[22]) makes present manners “elaborate” enough to bring the novel to a climax in regard to external manners. But the nature of the denouement reflects Mailer’s real emphasis — a study of manners internalized.

A more intricate and significant “catenary of manners” exists in Rojack’s consciousness, a network of inner responses much more complex than his reactions to external stimuli. The quantity of outside manifestations of magic and dread interfere with Rojack’s attempts to preserve the quality of his own obsession with murder and suicide. Self-deception (to place greater value outside the individual) must never take the place of self-knowledge. Salvation (or grace) remains an inner condition, as long as the nature of guilt is identified as a cultural concept harmful to the individual. In Rojack’s case, possible damnation is two-fold: social or to give in to guilt; personal or to give in to insanity. Since the latter is more crucial to Rojack, the polarity of sanity and insanity is what supports the “catenary” in his mind. Private manners become the means of keeping self-control and thereby remaining sane. Kelly’s invitation to an orgy (to make public the extreme private) tempts Rojack to sample another equally “artful” set of manners. But Rojack senses that Kelly’s manners, which fit a tycoon in search of power, place equal value on “public show” and private actions. Murder, not incest, remains Rojack’s index to extreme manners that stress the private at the expense of the public. To remain lucid on his own terms, Rojack can only counteract Kelly’s temptation (acting out another taboo in order to combat the fear of public exposure) by exposing himself to his “elaborate” fear of death; and, he tempts suicide and “strolls” around the parapet, and invites Kelly (in order not to “break” the mood) to be a one-man public, to bear witness (“like a chaplain accompanying a prisoner”[23]) to a private execution or salvation.

It is a qualified salvation according to the novel’s denouement which Mailer contends “if manners would have been somewhat different, the denouement would not have occurred.”[1] It does, outside of Las Vegas in the desert, “by the side of the empty road, a telephone booth with a rusty dial. Went in and rang up and asked to speak to Cherry. And in the moonlight, a voice came back, a lovely voice, and said, ‘Why, hello, hon, I thought you’d never call. It’s kind of cool right now, and the girls are swell. Marilyn says to say hello.’”[24] As the novel ends, Rojack is an expert in private manners, which has also caused Cherry’s death, if the magic “voice” he hears on the parapet is to be believed — “The first trip was done for you, but the second was for Cherry.”[25] Moments earlier, when Rojack admits that one trip around the parapet is his limit (“I’ve lain with madness long enough”[26]), he acknowledges how his over-dependence on internal manners has alienated him from concerns and values outside the self. He has achieved self-control and self-realization but his price is singularity in America. Murder is too intimate an act. Survival, through manners, is just as intimate. Only Rojack knows its basic strategy — adherence to a code of relative manners. He is an “artful” Machiavellian except in one respect. No matter how much the outside world pressures with pain and fear, he must always be harder on himself. Rojack’s dream is a psychic-drama of a murderer undergoing more pain and fear than his society can devise. As symbols of his own judge and jury, Rojack’s manners become so “elaborate” that he can only relate to the supernatural. At the end, he still has enough rapport with magic to make a person-to-person call to an imaginary heaven on the moon.

Symbolic telephone calls extend throughout Rojack’s dream. The “catenary” appears early: “So I went into an outdoor booth, and shivering in the trapped cold air, I phoned her apartment. She was home,”[27] At the beginning, Rojack’s phone call to Deborah results in murder, an extreme physical act to show the possibilities of damnation or exposure inherent in external manners. At the end, Rojack’s phone call to Cherry (not “in the trapped cold air” but in desert heat) results in freedom, an extreme spiritual act to show the possibilities of salvation or survival inherent in internal manners. “In a funny way,” An American Dream is a novel of manners in which a morality of murder is internalized. Rojack can not be confused with the American Adam in a drawingroom; but, at least, he can be confused with the American Cain escaping detection all the way from New York to Las Vegas. In either case, Rojack’s higher quest (his “secret frightened romance with the phases of the moon”[28]) between nightmare and dream will continue. An American Dream’s real denouement will occur far out of America, somewhere between the moon and Yucatan.


  1. Reprinted by permission of the author. From Kaufmann, Donald L. (1969). Norman Mailer: The Countdown. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois UP. pp. 35–50.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 Mailer n.d.
  2. Mailer 1965, p. 207.
  3. Mailer 1963, p. 38.
  4. Mailer 1965, pp. 143–144.
  5. Mailer 1965, p. 159.
  6. Mailer 1965, p. 204.
  7. Mailer 1965, p. 211.
  8. Mailer 1965, p. 212.
  9. 9.0 9.1 Mailer 1965, p. 214.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Mailer 1965, p. 215.
  11. Mailer 1965, p. 30.
  12. Mailer 1965, p. 183.
  13. Mailer 1965, p. 209.
  14. Mailer 1965, p. 31.
  15. Mailer 1965, p. 46.
  16. Mailer 1965, p. 268.
  17. Mailer 1965, p. 12.
  18. Mailer 1966, p. 96.
  19. Mailer 1965, p. 264.
  20. Mailer 1965, p. 219.
  21. Mailer 1965, p. 233.
  22. Mailer 1965, p. 254.
  23. Mailer 1965, p. 256.
  24. Mailer 1965, pp. 269–270.
  25. Mailer 1965, p. 261.
  26. Mailer 1965, p. 260.
  27. Mailer 1965, p. 19.
  28. Mailer 1965, p. 7.


  • Mailer, Norman (1965). An American Dream. New York: Dial Press.
  • — (1966). Cannibals and Christians. New York: Dial Press.
  • — (1963). The Presidential Papers. New York: Dial Press.
  • — (n.d.). "Mailer in Provincetown / Mailer in Alaska" (Interview). Interviewed by Edmund Skelling. Unpublished Audio.