The Mailer Review/Volume 10, 2016/Mailer’s Use of Wilhelm Reich

From Project Mailer
« The Mailer ReviewVolume 10 Number 1 • 2016 • 10th Anniversary Issue »
Written by
Andrew M. Gordon
Abstract: An examination of the importance of Wilhelm Reich to the work of Norman Mailer.

Writes Mailer in “The White Negro” in 1957: “At bottom, the drama of the psychopath is that he seeks love. Not love as the search for a mate, but love as the search for an orgasm more apocalyptic than the one which preceded it. Orgasm is his therapy—he knows at the seed of his being that good orgasm opens his possibilities and bad orgasm imprisons him.”[1] Orgasm as therapy comes straight out of the theories of Wilhelm Reich.

Today, Reich seems like a historical curiosity, a footnote in the history of twentieth century psychoanalysis. Yet in the 1950s, in his heyday in the United States, this neo-Freudian revisionist, messiah of the good orgasm and inventor of the orgone box had a reputation similar to that of Norman Mailer: to some a genius, to others a rebel, but to many simply a lunatic. Reich had a profound influence on American literature from 1945 to 1960. It is not surprising that Mailer should have affiliated himself with Reich; it was fashionable in the 1950s, and many other discontented artists, intellectuals, and leftists turned in that direction. The major writers of the Beat Generation—Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, and William Burroughs—used orgone boxes. As Old Bull Lee (Burroughs) tells Sal Paradise (Kerouac) in On the Road, ‘Say, why don’t you fellows try my orgone accumulator? Put some juice on your bones. I always rush up and take off ninety miles an hour for the nearest whorehouse, hor-hor-hor![2]

Reich particularly attracted Jewish-American writers. Among those who used orgone boxes in the 1950s were J.D. Salinger, Paul Goodman, Isaac Rosenfeld, Saul Bellow, and, of course, Norman Mailer. Alfred Kazin said, “Everyone of my generation had his orgone box, his search for fulfillment.”[3]

The cartoonist Jules Feiffer, who worked with Mailer on The Village Voice, said the early 1950s were an age of pop psychology: “Even if you weren’t seeing a shrink, people talked in that language. . . . and Norman had his orgone box and was a devotee of Wilhelm Reich. If we weren’t seeing shrinks we read stuff and talked the talk, usually with a drink in our hand. And we used psychology to get laid.”[4] As Diana Trilling wrote in 1962, “Jung, Fromm, Reich: it is among these analytic dissidents that protest now regularly seeks the psychology (and perhaps the parental support) with which to replace . . . Freudian psychology.”[5] And Reich had a political as well as a psychological dimension. Philip Reiff wrote in 1961, “The artists and writers who followed Reich were, like him, defeated men of the left . . . Reich’s brave announcements of the end of politics turned failure into a kind of victory.”[6]

Leslie Fiedler asserted that, among the Jewish novelists, “a flirtation with Zen, and especially a commitment to Reichianism . . . often indicates a discontent with simple or conventional plot resolutions and hence a deeper awareness of the contradictions in the situation of the JewishAmerican writer.” Fiedler described the revolt in the 1950s against Freudian orthodoxy:

Freud has come to seem too timid, too puritanical, and above all too rational for the second half of the twentieth century. It is Reich who moves the young, with his antinomianism, his taste for magic, and his emphasis on full genitality as the final goal of man. The cult of the orgasm developed in his name has won converts in recent years, even from members of the generation of the Forties and the Fifties, approaching middleage and disillusioned with orthodox Marxism and Freudianism. Isaac Rosenfeld, Saul Bellow, Paul Goodman, and especially Norman Mailer, trying to live a second, menopausal youth, have chosen to live it . . . under Reichian auspices, and Mailer . . . has seemed to the young a model and leader in this respect.[7]

But African-American writers in the 1950s were skeptical of Reich. James Baldwin wrote:

people turned from the formula of the world being made better through politics to the idea of the world being made better through psychic and sexual health. . . .There are no formulas for the improvement of the private or any other life—certainly not the formula of more and better orgasms. (Who decides?) The people I had been raised among had orgasms all the time and still chopped each other with razors on Saturday nights.[8]

Who was Wilhelm Reich? Born in 1897 in Austria to a family of non-observant Jews, in the 1920s Reich became a disciple of Freud and a psychoanalyst in Vienna. His theories about character armor—neurosis manifesting itself in the body—and the mass psychology of fascism won him followers. Reich became attracted to leftist politics in the 1930s and was one of the few attempting to link Freud and Marx at a time when psychoanalysis was uninterested in politics and the Communist party didn’t want to know from Freud. Reich had the singular distinction of being the only person ever expelled from both the International Psychoanalytic Association and the Communist Party. Freud also broke with him.

He came to the United States in 1939, set up practice in Forest Hills, Queens, and became an American citizen. His works began to be translated, and his practice thrived. The Function of the Orgasm was published in translation in the United States in 1943, Character Analysis and The Sexual Revolution in 1945, followed by The Mass Psychology of Fascism in 1946 and The Emotional Plague in 1953. “Paul Goodman praised Reich in an influential article . . . published in July 1945. . . . By 1947, Reich’s Orgone Institute Press was selling four to five hundred copies of his books a week.”[9]

Reich’s theories went farther and farther out, as he proposed a universal form of energy he called orgone energy. His wood and metal orgone boxes were supposed to concentrate the orgone energy to create better orgasms and even cure cancer and other diseases. He ran afoul of the US Food and Drug Administration, which in 1954 slapped an injunction against the distribution of orgone boxes across state lines, saying they were a fraud. Reich refused to obey, was sent to a federal penitentiary, diagnosed there as paranoid, and died in prison of heart disease in 1957.

Mailer confesses with pride in Advertisements for Myself that “I have never been analyzed, but . . . I have spent the last year in analyzing myself.”[10] He adds, “As a hint, I will add that if I were ever to look for an analyst, I would get me to a Reichian.”[11] Advertisements records Mailer’s gradual shift in allegiance from Freud to Reich.

Robert Lawler says, “At some point in his career—perhaps as early as The Naked and the Dead—Mailer had appropriated some of the ideas of Wilhelm Reich and his belief that the achievement of sexual orgasm would in itself initiate the cure for any so-called ‘mental’ disease.”[12] It is difficult to make a case for Reich as an influence in Mailer’s first two novels, except for a brief mention of McLeod’s “rigid muscle armor” in Barbary Shore.[13] However, the portrait of Sam Slovoda in “The Man Who Studied Yoga” in 1952—an uptight, impotent square who is not helped by conventional therapy—suggests that Mailer had either started to take Reich’s psychology seriously as the potential answer for modern man or was ready to move in that direction.

In a November 1952 letter to Robert Lindner, Mailer asks if Lindner has “grappled with the kind of things Reich engaged in The Sexual Revolution.”[14]

Mailer’s first reference in print to Reich comes in a 1954 essay entitled “The Homosexual Villain,” written for One: The Homosexual Magazine:

I had been a libertarian socialist for some years....Very basic to everything I had thought was that sexual relations, above everything else, demand their liberty. . . . For, in the reverse, history has certainly offered enough examples of the link between sexual repression and political repression. (A fascinating thesis on this subject is The Sexual Revolution by Wilhelm Reich.)[15]

The conclusion of The Deer Park, in which Sergius imagines God telling him that “Sex is time, and Time is the connection of new circuits,” may refer to Reich’s electrical theory of the nature of sexuality. This concept recurs in D.J.’s mystical vision of the aurora borealis at the conclusion of Why Are We in Vietnam?

According to J. Michael Lennon, “Mailer’s infatuation with Reich would grow throughout the 1950s” and he built his own orgone box.[16] In 1956 he told his friend Mickey Knox that he would retreat to the box to “scream and snort and bellow and growl and even pipsqueak.”[17]

It was natural for Mailer to have been attracted to Reich; he was trying to achieve as a novelist the same synthesis of Marx and Freud that Reich had attempted. Reich said that “psychic disturbances are the results of the sexual chaos brought about by the nature of our society.”[18] Mailer had been moving for some time toward the same conclusion. Leo Braudy writes that “Barbary Shore is Mailer’s first attempt to bring together his interests in politics and psychology. In Advertisements for Myself he will describe this imaginative synthesis as an effort to build a bridge between Marx and Freud. . . .”[19]

Actually, Mailer had been working toward a union of Marx and Freud as early as The Naked and the Dead. The synthesis there is makeshift and pessimistic—what class and sexuality have in common is that they are oppressive, deterministic forces that interact to circumscribe the individual.

Mailer’s imaginative synthesis of Marx and Freud reaches a peak in “The White Negro,” a seminal work, forming source material that Mailer is to mine is his essays and fiction for years to come. For the psychological content of the essay, Mailer acknowledges a debt to two main sources: Robert Lindner and Wilhelm Reich.

From Reich, Mailer borrows the cult of the good orgasm as the cureall for mental and physical ailments. As Mailer writes, “In the Western sexual literature with which I am familiar, classical, technical, and pornographic, I can remember—with the harsh radical exception of Wilhelm Reich—almost no incisive discussion of male orgasm.”[20] He writes, “the intellectual antecedents of this generation can be traced to such separate influences as D. H. Lawrence, Henry Miller, and Wilhelm Reich.”[21] What these three have in common is their radical candor about sex and their exaltation of the orgasm.

The second concept that Mailer derives from Reich in “The White Negro” is the importance of the instinctual life. Reich was convinced that “if man could live by his instincts and not in submission to his character armor not only would life be freer and richer than it is but also many moral problems and indeed many physical illnesses including cancer would never occur.”[22]

In “The White Negro,” Mailer is crossing Lindner with Reich, taking the psychopath as Lindner delineated him and interpreting him in Reichian categories. Reich tended to glorify the id and the instinctual and to mistrust the ego and the superego; by Reichian standards, the psychopath might be considered the liberated man.

Mailer’s attempt to create a bridge between Marx and Freud forced him to adopt the role not only of philosopher of economics but of amateur psychoanalytic theorist. Out of a desperation with the bland and security-minded culture of America in the 1950s, with a therapy that offered only tranquilizers and soothing platitudes, with an impotent Left, and with his own lack of impact on the culture, Mailer decided to épater la bourgeoisie by ennobling a perverse fringe group who were primarily a product of his own invention: the hipsters. Like Reich, he wanted to move away from Freudian pessimism back to a romantic affirmation of the essential goodness of man. However, Mailer goes further than Reich; like the true anarchist, Mailer wants to remove all social restraints.

Moreover, Reich’s therapy required the aid of a trained psychoanalyst, whereas the therapy of the psychopath is self-administered; you simply get in touch with your rage by acting out your violent fantasies. Mailer has great faith in the “instinctive wisdom” of the psychopath. Mailer also seems to have fabricated the psychology of the hipster out of whole cloth, apparently depending upon the imaginative leeway allowed a novelist. Like Reich, Mailer believes that what we call civilization is the perverted product of a “psychic plague.” For Mailer, it is not the hipster who is the psychological aberration, but modern civilization itself. According to Mailer, the violent situation into which modern man has been thrust demands a violent cure. Reich never talked much about violence, except as another instance of the perverse behavior into which a sex-denying civilization drove individuals. Paradoxically, Mailer had moved from the fear expressed in Barbary Shore that mankind was drifting toward barbarism to the affirmation in “The White Negro” that only in individual barbarism is there hope for salvation.

One of Mailer’s motives behind “The White Negro” seems to be revenge against the psychoanalyst. Because the psychoanalyst, the new keeper of the unconscious, has usurped some of the functions of the novelist, the novelist must fight to regain his lost territory. The hipster cures himself, and the hipster may be the wave of the future. Mailer evidently hopes that in the future there will be less need for analysts and more room for novelists.

Sergius in “The Time of Her Time,” Rojack in An American Dream, and D.J. in Why Are We in Vietnam? are variations on the White Negro or hipster. Each attempts to purge himself of frustration and impotent rage through violence; none is entirely successful, perhaps because they are still “cowards” at heart, forever in the process of becoming hipsters.

The drama of Sergius O’Shaugnessy’s life in “The Time of Her Time” is the search for the apocalyptic orgasm, and his instrument in the search is Denise Gondelman, a bourgeois square (her father is a hardware wholesaler in Brooklyn) who aspires to become a bohemian. Worse yet, “she was being psychoanalyzed, what a predictable pisser! and she was in the stage where the jargon had the totalitarian force of all vocabularies of mechanism. . . . She was enthusiastic about her analyst . . . he was really an integrated guy, Stanford Joyce . . .”{{sfn|Mailer|1959|pp=488–489 Denise personifies everything that Sergius despises. The hipster regulates himself, while the square is dependent upon outside control. As Reich writes, “the therapeutic task consists in changing the neurotic character into a genital character, and in replacing moral regulation by self-regulation.”[23]

Thus, Sergius has his work cut out for him: to transform Denise from a neurotic and frigid girl into a genital character, a woman who will be self-regulating. He must break through her “Amazon’s armor.”[24] Richard Poirier sees this as an allusion to “the Reichian idea of body armor, thereby lending some support to Sergius’s claim that his ‘avenger’ is an instrument of therapy rather than revenge.”[25]

Just as Mailer sets himself up as a countertherapist, so Sergius sets out to outdo Dr. Joyce by applying his own potent brand of Reichian orgasm therapy to Denise. No matter the cost, Sergius must be “the first to carry her stone of no-orgasm up the cliff, all the way, over and into the sea,”[26] mock-heroically invoking Camus and the myth of Sisyphus.

There is a clash of Freudian therapist versus Reichian therapist in their confrontation. ‘Vaginally, I’m anesthetized,” Denise informs Sergius with grave clinical detachment, ‘a good phallic narcissist like you doesn’t do enough for me.[27]

Sergius responds in kind to Denise:

“Aren’t you mixing your language a little?” I began. “The phallis [sic] narcissist is one of Wilhelm Reich’s categories.”


“Aren’t you a Freudian?”

“It would be presumptuous of me to say,” she said like a seminar student working for his pee-aitch-dee. “But Sandy is an eclectic. He accepts a lot of Reich—you see, he’s very ambitious, he wants to arrive at his own synthesis.[28]

Like Dr. Joyce, Mailer is also eclectic: he accepts a lot of Reich but is very ambitious and wants to arrive at his own synthesis.

Denise’s reference to Sergius as a “phallic narcissist” helps to explain the end of the story. After he finally brings her to orgasm, she walks out on him, and in a parting blow, quotes her analyst, accusing Sergius of using sex with her and with many other women ‘to run away from the homosexual that is you.[29] Reich wrote that “phallic narcissists” were “men who show excessive erective potency, for fear of the woman and in defense against unconscious homosexual phantasies. The sexual act serves the purpose of proving their ‘potency,’ the penis serves as a piercing instrument with sadistic phantasies.”[30] Mailer uses his knowledge of Reich to turn the story into a mock-heroic, simultaneously elevating and deflating Sergius as a “phallic narcissist” who calls his penis “the avenger.” Early in the story, Sergius mentions that Denise has “the flat thin muscles of a wiry boy,”[31] and he finally brings her to orgasm by penetrating her anally. The story ends: “And like a real killer, she did not look back, and was out the door before I could rise to tell her that she was hero fit for me.”[29] There are multiple ironies in this ending: Sergius, who teaches bullfighting, has just been stabbed in a moment of truth; he is symbolically impotent, for he cannot rise; and he terms her a “hero,” not a heroine. “The Time of Her Time” is no simple misogynistic tale, for it is psychologically self-aware and undercuts its narrator.

Many elements of An American Dream also become more comprehensible when viewed in Reichian terms. “There were clefts and rents which cut like geological faults right through all the lead and concrete and kapok and leather of my ego, that mutilated piece of insulation,” says Stephen Rojack.[32] The metaphor is based on Reich’s notion of “character armor,” neurosis manifested in the body. The stress in the novel on the quality of the orgasm as an index to one’s mental and spiritual condition is Reichian, and the concern with cancer as a psychically induced disease derives as well from Reich, who believed that there was a direct connection between sexual and emotional repression and cancer.[33]

Most significantly, Rojack’s progress in An American Dream can be charted in terms of Reich’s three-tiered conception of character structure. According to Reich’s theory, there are three layers of character in civilized man; in descending order, they are the social mask, the Freudian “unconscious,” and the deepest level of all, the biological core.

The surface layer is “an artificial mask of self-control, of compulsive, insincere politeness and of artificial sociality.”[34] Rojack manifests this first layer in an early scene where he is chatting with an old friend at a cocktail party. Although he is consumed with jealousy over his wife Deborah since their separation, and wonders if his buddy is a rival who has recently cuckolded him, Rojack speaks “in a tone I had come to abhor, a sort of boozed Connecticut gentry.”[35] Wracked with a sudden spasm of nausea, “I stood up in the middle of my conversation with old friend rogue and simply heaved my cakes.”[35] His vomiting represents the eruption of his real feelings through the surface mask of sociality. Rojack also vomits on the balcony and in the restroom of Cherry’s nightclub. In Reichian terms, vomiting is an orgasmic breakthrough, an expulsion of repressed and bottled-up energy: “the total movement of the body in vomiting is . . . the same as in the orgasm reflex.”[36]

The surface layer “covers up the second one, the Freudian ‘unconscious,’ in which sadism, greediness, lasciviousness, envy, perversions of all kinds, etc., are kept in check, without, however, having in the least lost any of their power.”[34] Beneath this layer of sickness lies the third and deepest layer, what Reich believed to be the naturally good, biological character of man. Unfortunately, “One cannot penetrate to this deep, promising layer without first eliminating the sham-social surface. What makes its appearance when this cultivated mask falls away, however, is not natural sociality, but the perverse antisocial nature of the character.”[37] Thus, when Rojack penetrates below level one, he murders his wife and then indulges in sexual gymnastics with her maid, Ruta. Rojack has broken through the social mask, but he must now work through all the horrors of the Freudian unconscious, Reich’s level two, before he can reach the biological core. Viewed in a Reichian sense, Rojack’s perverse and antisocial actions are not an indulgent wallowing in unhealthy fantasies but a purgation of the negative instincts that is a necessary part of the therapeutic process.

Reich’s third and final layer of character consists of “natural sociality, spontaneous enjoyment of work, capacity for love. This third and deepest layer [represents] the biological nucleus of the human structure. . . .”[34] As Rojack goes to see Cherry, ‘God,’ I wanted to pray, ‘let me love that girl, and become a father, and try to be a good man, and do some decent work.[38] Rojack’s goal, which he never quite reaches, perhaps because he is not good enough, is to dissolve the habits of a lifetime, to work through the horrors within him, and to become Reich’s biological man. Rojack’s yearning toward that goal is intended to show that, despite his perverse tendencies, his fundamental instincts are in the right place. “Knowledge, work and natural love are the sources of life,” writes Reich. “They should also be the forces that govern our life.”[39]

Aside from the possible influence of Reich on An American Dream, the novel is also in tune with the ideas of the psychiatrist R.D. Laing in The Politics of Experience, which gained wide popularity in the sixties, about schizophrenia as a personal voyage of discovery outside of the normal mode of experience, a breakthrough rather than a breakdown. Mailer’s alignment with Reich anticipated the movement in the sixties in America toward the radical left in psychoanalytic thinking, the tendency to see society as insane, and the individual as either a victim of that society, a collaborator, or a lone rebel struggling against it. Mailer had always viewed the individual and society in this light; Reich gave him a system with which to analyze and to categorize behavior and experience.

Mailer’s adherence to Reich’s theory of human character points to certain attitudes that he shares with Reich: romanticism, faith in the individual and distrust of the society, and a belief in the instinctual life. “Beneath these neurotic mechanisms,” writes Reich, “behind all these dangerous, grotesque, irrational phantasies and impulses, I found a bit of simple, matter-of-fact, decent nature.”[40] That sentence could almost summarize An American Dream.

Mailer’s style of thought from Advertisements comes to resemble more closely that of Reich; like Reich, Mailer mixes the systematic and the dogmatic with equal parts of the mystical and the messianic. Mailer also approaches Reich in his Manicheism and in his creation of a private cosmology which one is unsure whether to take as poetic construct or sheer superstition. In his later work, Reich seemed to become increasingly paranoid, and his proposed solutions for psychological problems sounded grandiose and even simple-minded (put everyone in an orgone box). In An American Dream and Vietnam, the two novels written in the 1960s after he became a serious devotee of Reich, Mailer makes an aesthetic leap into a more extreme, cosmic, and sweeping treatment of his characters’ conflicts. Nevertheless, Mailer possesses a capacity for complexity, irony, self-detachment, and a sense of humor, including self-mockery, that Reich always lacked.

Mailer becomes both more ironic, playful, and self-detached and more mystical and messianic in his next novel, Why Are We in Vietnam? Here he draws directly from the later Reich, the Reich who went further and further out until he was believed to be insane. The creation in this novel of a mysterious field of electrical energy, manifested in the aurora borealis, a force which energizes the entire globe and into which the minds of all creatures are plugged, is similar to Reich’s belief in the existence of “orgone energy,” a form of tangible, measurable libido that activates all living things: “the blue-gray Northern lights . . . are manifestations of the orgone energy.”[41]

Reich believed that one could actually tap into this life force with an accumulator called an orgone box; Mailer’s novel posits certain nodes, such as the Brooks Range, which act as natural antennae, radio receivers for his brand of cosmic emanation. As a scientific theory, “orgone energy” is as absurd as phlogiston, but borrowed as the core idea for a piece of fiction, it possesses a kind of metaphoric believability. Mailer’s narrator, D.J., shows some of the characteristics of paranoid schizophrenia. He is obsessed with notions of Godlike or Satanic forces in control of man, forces as tangible as electricity. Electricity runs D.J.’s universe; he even conceives of himself as a disc jockey broadcasting over the airwaves.

Roger Ramsey, a critic of Mailer, asserts that the schizophrenia of D.J. is “clearly related to the source of Mailer’s ideas about sex, the works of Wilhelm Reich.” Ramsey cites one particular case history from Reich’s Character Analysis, “The Schizophrenic Split.” In Reich’s conception of schizophrenia, the individual is first possessed by the Devil and then tries to battle his influence and align himself with God. Reich considers schizophrenics brave individuals who “had the courage to approach what is commonly evaded” with no help from society and who hoped “to emerge from the inferno into the clear, fresh air where only great minds dwell.” According to Ramsey, Reich’s schizophrenic is “the same character as the White Negro, the hipster, and doubtlessly DJ.” Reich’s conception of the Devil and God as, respectively, man’s perverted nature and cosmic-electricity also seems to Ramsey to be similar to Mailer’s conception. Tellingly, Ramsey cites an instance in Reich’s case history where the woman patient asks, “What is the Aurora Borealis?” and mentally projects herself to “where the ‘forces’ are.”[42]

It is safe to say that Mailer has studied Reich carefully and appropriated his psychology as an integral part of his private cosmology. Reich is a valuable asset to Mailer’s art as a framework for generating metaphor and as a device for interpreting reality.

It is difficult to say how much Mailer actually believed in Reich and in the metaphysic he evolved partly from Reich. Mailer’s system has its witty and playful aspects as well as its serious side. Frederic Jameson speculates that Mailer does not believe in his own system “scientifically or positivistically, but perhaps aesthetically. For the novelist, indeed, these occult paraphernalia amount to a kind of stylistic superstition: they permit the writing of vivid sentences and constitute a new kind of characterological shorthand.”[43] But one wonders whether Mailer sometimes gets carried away by his own system and his own metaphors and confuses them with reality. Mailer’s belief in Reichianism interferes with his art when he makes his characters into mouthpieces for his theories. For example, when all the characters in An American Dream begin talking about “God” and “the Devil,” they stop sounding like themselves and begin sounding like the author.

An emotional and ideological incompatibility led Mailer away from his early allegiance to Freud and, in the 1950s and 1960s, into an alignment with the ideas of the more romantic and anarchistic Reich. At the same time, Mailer’s increasingly grandiose conception of the role of the artist led him to view the psychoanalyst as the enemy and to arrogate to himself the role of countertherapist, an unorthodox, guerrilla doctor to the sick mind, body, and spirit of his society.

From Advertisements on, Mailer shows a cavalier attitude toward psychoanalytic theory, a sublime confusion. Disregarding the basis of psychiatry in science and medicine, Mailer treats the psychoanalyst as a generally inferior type of artist and the artist as a potentially superior type of analyst. Mailer’s role confusion illustrates the redefinition of self that the modern artist is still undergoing in the wake of Freud. The novelist had always been an intuitive, amateur psychoanalyst; how could he or she hope to compete with these professionals who had codified human behavior and made its study into a science? Mailer seems to feel that the territory is not big enough for both of them; it is up to the novelist to outpsych the shrink.


  1. Mailer 1959, p. 347.
  2. Kerouac 1957, p. 126.
  3. Turner 2011, p. 222.
  4. Quoted in Olshaker (2014, pp. 32–33).
  5. Trilling 1971, p. 53.
  6. Quoted in Turner (2011, p. 248).
  7. Fiedler 1965, p. 93.
  8. Quoted in Turner (2011, pp. 246–267).
  9. Leader 2015, p. 390.
  10. Mailer 1959, pp. 301–302.
  11. Mailer 1959, p. 301.
  12. Lawler 1969, p. 98.
  13. Mailer 1951, p. 235.
  14. Quoted in Lennon (2014, p. 127).
  15. Mailer 1959, p. 225.
  16. Lennon 2013, p. 164.
  17. Lennon 2013, p. 214.
  18. Reich 1967, p. xxiv.
  19. Braudy 1972, p. 4.
  20. Mailer 1959, p. 369.
  21. Mailer 1959, p. 340.
  22. Rycroft 1971, p. 33.
  23. Reich 1967, p. 121.
  24. Mailer 1959, p. 498.
  25. Poirier 1972, p. 73.
  26. Mailer 1959, p. 496.
  27. Mailer 1959, p. 493.
  28. Mailer 1959, pp. 493–494.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Mailer 1959, p. 503.
  30. Reich 1967, pp. 106–107.
  31. Mailer 1959, p. 488.
  32. Mailer 1965, p. 12.
  33. Reich 1967, p. 250.
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 Reich 1967, p. 157.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Mailer 1965, p. 11.
  36. Reich 1949, p. 11.
  37. Reich 1946, p. viii.
  38. Mailer 1965, p. 162.
  39. Reich 1967, p. xxix.
  40. Reich 1967, p. 114.
  41. Reich 1967, pp. 263–264.
  42. Ramsey 1971, pp. 427–29.
  43. Jameson 1972, p. 189.

Works Cited

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  • Fiedler, Leslie (1965). Waiting for the End. New York: Dell.
  • Jameson, Frederic (November 1972). "The Great American Hunter; or, Ideological Content in the Novel". College English. 34: 180–197.
  • Kerouac, Jack (1957). On the Road. New York: Viking.
  • Laing, R.D. (1968). The Politics of Experience. New York: Ballantine.
  • Lawler, Robert W. (1969). Norman Mailer: The Connection of New Circuits (Dissertation). Claremont.
  • Leader, Zachary (2015). The Life of Saul Bellow: To Fame and Fortune, 1915–1964. New York: Knopf.
  • Lennon, J. Michael (2013). Norman Mailer: A Double Life. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • —, ed. (2014). The Selected Letters of Norman Mailer. New York: Random House.
  • Mailer, Norman (1965). An American Dream. New York: Dial.
  • — (1959). Advertisements for Myself. New York: Putnam’s.
  • — (1951). Barbary Shore. New York: Rinehart.
  • Olshaker, Mark (2014). "Walking into the Zeitgeist: A Conversation with Jules Feiffer". The Mailer Review. 8 (1): 21–51. Retrieved 2019-05-25.
  • Poirier, Richard (1972). Norman Mailer. New York: Viking.
  • Ramsey, Roger (1971). "Current and Recurrent: The Vietnam Novel". Modern Fiction Studies. 17: 427–429.
  • Reich, Wilhelm (1949). Character Analysis. Translated by Wolfe, Theodore P. New York: Farrar, Strauss.
  • — (1967). The Function of the Orgasm. Translated by Wolfe, Theodore P. New York: Bantam.
  • — (1946). The Mass Psychology of Fascism. New York: Orgon Institute Press.
  • Rycroft, Charles (1971). Wilhelm Reich. New York: Viking.
  • Trilling, Diana (1971). "The Moral Radicalism of Norman Mailer". In Lucid, Robert F. Norman Mailer The Man and His Work. Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown. pp. 108–136.
  • Turner, Christopher (2011). Adventures in the Orgasmatron: How the Sexual Revolution Came to America. New York: Farrar, Strauss, and Giroux.