The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer/3. The Deer Park

From Project Mailer
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The Structured Vision of Norman Mailer
  1. The Naked and the Dead
  2. Barbary Shore
  3. The Deer Park
  4. An American Dream
  5. Why Are We in Vietnam?
  6. Deaths for the Ladies and Other Disasters
  7. Advertisements for Myself, The Presidential Papers, and Cannibals and Christians
  8. The Armies of the Night and Miami and the Siege of Chicago

Toward the end of The Deer Park, Sergius O’Shaug­nessy, after his first abortive attempt to write remarks that:

. . . I tried to write my novel about bullfighting, but it was not very good. It was inevitably imitative of that excellently exiguous mathematician, Mr. Ernest Hemingway, and I was learning that it is not creatively satisfying to repeat the work of a good writer.[1]

It would seem that Mailer himself learned this after the completion of The Naked and the Dead, a book which marks the eminently successful completion of a self­-admitted apprenticeship. The work which follows the first novel is characterized without exception by the struggle to forge a highly personal art by which Mailer hoped to articulate his own very individual concerns. Since it is one of the aims of this study to clarify these concerns, it is very much in order to devote some space to the methods by which Mailer arrived at his present fictional idiom.

The path is littered with false starts and fragments, many of which have been printed and discussed by Mailer in Advertisements for Myself. But the work which lies at the heart of the interim struggle for an adequate form which occupies the almost two decades between The Naked and the Dead and An American Dream is The Deer Park. The work is of particular interest because it underwent a major revision after Mailer had once decided it was ready for publication, and because he has been unable to let it lie, reworking it over a period of years into a play of the same title, which was produced in New York City in January, 1967. It is always interesting to compare two forms of the same work, and in the case of The Deer Park such comparison is central to an understanding of Mailer’s artistic development. Certain significant shifts in emphasis condition Mailer’s current vision as opposed to that of a decade earlier, and these are reflected in basic differences between The Deer Park as novel and as play.[2]

Barbary Shore, as has been demonstrated, is a rather shaky step in the development of artistic vision between the first and the last novels. The most significant step forward it represents is that it is written in the first person, as are the three novels which follow it. The devices of structure and point of view learned from Dos Passos were effective in The Naked and the Dead, but if Mailer believed what Sergius was to learn about derivative work they may have represented a dead end. Nonetheless, an acceptable new form did not come easily. The first person presented problems which made Barbary Shore artistically ineffective, an admission of which is implicit in Mailer’s discussion of the point of view problems he experienced in writing The Deer Park:

For six years I had been writing novels in the first person; it was the only way I could begin a book, even though the third person was more to my taste. Worse, I seemed unable to create a narrator in the first person who was not overdelicate, oversensitive, and painfully tender, which was an odd portrait to give, because I was not delicate, not physically. . . . Yet the first person seemed to paralyze me, as if I had a horror of creating a voice which could be in any way bigger than myself. So I had become mired in a false style for every narrator I tried.[3]

The pre-publication history of The Deer Park (N) is extremely relevant to the development of Mailer’s narra­tive stance. As the author himself relates it in Advertise­ ments for Myself, Rinehart and Company, who had a contract with Mailer for the book, were bound to accept it or to pay him a large advance. After much grumbling over the novel, which no one at Rinehart liked, Stanley Rinehart rejected it shortly before publication and at­tempted to avoid paying the advance. The decision was precipitated by the author’s refusal to delete six lines in which, without graphic obscenity, the sexual relations between a young call girl and an old producer are implied, rather than described. There is considerable irony in the fact that the passage is not only devoid of any word which might be considered obscene (strikingly so in comparison to the graphic sexual description of Mailer’s later fiction) but is rather well executed in this very avoidance. After rejections from six other publishers, the novel was accepted without revision at G. P. Putnam. But the experience had precipitated in Mailer an emotional realization of some­thing he had previously known only on an intellectual level:

. . . that my fine America which I had been at pains to criticize for so many years was in fact a real country which did real things and ugly things to the characters of more people than just the characters of my books.[4]

In retrospect, Mailer sees the episode as a major milestone in his own development:

And so as the language of sentiment would have it, something broke in me, but I do not know if it was so much a loving heart, as a cyst of the weak, the unreal, and the needy, and I was finally open to my anger. I turned within my psyche, I can almost believe, for I felt something shift to murder in me. I finally had the simple sense to understand that if I wanted my work to travel further than others, the life of my talent depended on fighting a little more, and looking for help a little less. But I deny the sequence in putting it this way, for it took me years to come to this fine point. All I felt was that I was an outlaw, a psychic outlaw, and I liked it, I liked it a good night better than trying to be a gentleman. . . .[5]

The concepts of the psychic outlaw and of murder within oneself inform much of Mailer’s artistic vision in the later fiction. But the importance of the experience just re­counted is most immediately reflected in the changes Mailer made in The Deer Park. After a few months away from the book, he read the page proofs and was struck by the fact that the style was unsatisfactory to him:

. . . the book read as if it had been written by someone else. I was changed from the writer who had labored on that novel. . . . I could at last admit the style was wrong . . . that I had been strangling the life of my novel in a poetic prose which was too self­-consciously attractive and formal, false to the life of my characters, especially false to the life of my narrator who was the voice of my novel and so gave the story its air. He had been a lieutenant in the Air Force, he had been cool enough and hard enough to work his way up from an orphan asylum, and to allow him to write in a style which at its best sounded like Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby must of course blur his character and leave the book unreal. Nick was legitimate, out of fair family, the Midwest and Princeton[6]—he would write as he did, his style was himself. But the style of Sergius O’Shaugnessy, no matter how good it became . . . was a style which came out of nothing so much as my determination to prove I could muster a fine style.[7]

The comparison to The Great Gatsby is not idly chosen, for even the final version of The Deer Park (N) bears a structural parallel to Fitzgerald’s book, in that in both cases the novel is as much about the narrator as about the major character he describes. Nick and Sergius develop as men through the experience of knowing Gatsby and Eitel. Because Sergius was so important to the struc­ture of The Deer Park, Mailer now felt it essential to revise the narrative style of the novel. This took some commitment to artistic integrity, since the people at Putnam were anxious to publish the exact text rejected by Rinehart in order to capitalize on the consequent notoriety. Mailer made hundreds of small changes he felt necessary, and found that:

for the first time I was able to use the first person in a way where I could suggest some of the stubbornness and belligerence I also might have, I was able to color the empty reality of that first person with some real feeling of how I had always felt, which was to be outside, for Brooklyn where I grew up is not the center of anything. I was able, then, to create an adventurer whom I believed in, and as he came alive for me, the other parts of the book which had been stagnant for a year or more also came to life, and new things began to happen to Eitel my director and to Elena his mistress and their characters changed. . . . Before, the story of Eitel had been told by O’Shaug­nessy of the weak voice; now by a confident young man: when the new narrator would remark that Eitel was his best friend and so he tried not to find Elena too attractive, the man and woman he was talking about were larger than they had once been. I was no longer telling about two nice people who fail at love because the world is too large and too cruel for them; the new O’Shaugnessy had moved me by degrees to the more painful story of two people who are strong as well as weak, corrupt as much as pure, and fail to grow despite their bravery in a poor world, because they are finally not brave enough, and so do more damage to each other than to the unjust world outside them. Which for me was exciting, for here and there The Deer Park had the rare tenderness of tragedy. The most powerful leverage in fiction comes from point of view, and giving O’Shaugnessy courage gave passion to the others.[3]

This, then, is what The Deer Park finally was about: individuals in a “cruel,” “poor” and “unjust” world. And the novel proceeds on two major levels: the social, in which the particular evils of American society are condemned; and the individual, in which the inability of each character to escape from his own alienation through love is traced.

Charles Eitel is the most striking and poignant example of failure on both the societal and individual levels. He begins well: at the novel’s beginning he has already refused to tell of his leftist associations before a congressional committee, thereby sacrificing his fabulously successful career as a movie director. And he persists in this refusal for several years, until late in the novel when he capitulates. In his relationship with Elena, his mistress, he tries at first to create something meaningful between them, and ultimately yields to infidelity, as does she. Their final solution is a sullen, empty marriage, surrounded by the dubious security of Eitel’s regained success and supple­mented by his resumed affair with his ex-wife, the matinee goddess Lulu Meyers.

Sergius undergoes temptations parallel to those of Eitel. Coming to Desert D’Or with fourteen thousand dollars won in a poker game just before leaving the Air Force, he is perceptive enough to see that the movie capital is merely a rich, glittering desert. But he is too aimless and weak to reject its glamour at first. After suffering a minor breakdown precipitated by the emotional realization of the horror he has visited on other human beings in flying napalm bombing missions over Korea, he finds himself rootless and sexually impotent. The latter problem is alleviated by his affair with Lulu Meyers, who has been divorced from Eitel for some time. Yet Sergius, in his adolescent glee at sleeping with a universally desired woman, commits himself to a greater and more shameful impotence. He becomes a flunky to Lulu, straight man to the ludicrous vaudeville act of public appearances.

The first inklings of strength in Sergius are seen when he is offered $20,000 for the movie rights to a romanticized version of his life story, with the further implication that he may be starred in the movie. The situation is tempting in more than a financial way. Sergius loves Lulu, and as a wealthy actor would be acceptable as a husband for her. He recognizes, however, that such a role would be the end of him as a man:

I could see myself as Mr. Meyers, a sort of fancy long­ shoreman scared of his wife, always busy mixing drinks for Lulu and the guests.[8]

Sergius turns down the movie offer, but a crisis has not yet been reached. He still has Lulu and some money. Soon, a more difficult situation is presented him. On a trip to Las Vegas with Lulu, he loses most of his remaining money, and because of this and the increasingly intolerable pressures of publicity for Lulu’s new movie, the two separate. Sergius moves from his beautifully artificial ranchhouse to a furnished room, and gets a job washing dishes. Here, lonely and exhausted, he is able to see the contract offer in a much more tempting perspective, and it is still open.

It is at this point that Sergius, wavering in his plans, divested of what small external security and confidence he had derived from the accoutrements of money, is confronted by the most immediately frightening threat in the novel. He is visited in his room by two powerfully built and insulting government agents,[9] partially because of his friendship with the blacklisted Eitel, ostensibly because of a ludicrously inaccurate gossip column which referred to him as a Marine Captain rather than an Air Force Lieutenant. Fighting his own paralyzing fear, Sergius manages to walk the thin line between a qualified and face-saving defiance and a severe beating. The agents leave with the warning not to leave town, and Sergius, weak and shaken in the aftermath of his minor victory, is forced to come to terms with himself. He realizes that:

. . . if I did not watch out, I would be a patsy in the world, that was the worst thing which could happen to a graduate from the orphanage. Too many men and too much history seemed to add up to no more than the death of the patsies. And then of course I knew no history, that too occurred to me, and if I was going to speak up to the rough world out there, it was time for me to open a book.

• • •

I began then to make those first painful efforts to acquire the most elusive habit of all, the mind of the writer. . . . I knew that finally one must do, simply do, for we act in total ignorance and yet in honest ignorance we must act. . . . So I wrote a few poor pages and gave them up and knew I would try again.

In the meantime I did not hear from the detec­tives, and slowly I came to decide that it was time for me to leave Desert D’Or, and if I was in real trouble with them, which I doubted, well that for that. I would go to Mexico. . . .[10]

The scene with the two agents is significant as a part of Mailer’s social criticism in The Deer Park, for they are characters who belong in a totalitarian state and who are not supposed to exist in an ostensible democracy. And they are only small cogs in the fearsome machinery represented by the subversive-hunting committee which interrogates Eitel. The hypocrisy which Mailer sees in the simplistic American dream of freedom and plenty has as another of its symptoms the very existence of a golden desert of celluloid make-believe. Ultimately, Sergius has been able to reject the falsity of Desert D’Or and Lulu, and to reinforce his first act of defiance to the agents by his departure for Mexico.

What hope there is in the novel is invested in Sergius. But on both the individual and the societal levels it is a decidedly qualified hope. Sergius has been able to reject the false love of Lulu, the false profession of movie star, the false values of a tinsel society. But at the end of the novel he has still not found a positive commitment. He has tried to write but is not yet able to do so successfully. And he does not yet know himself, though he searches through an apprenticeship to a bullfighter and an affair with the bullfighter’s girl. Like that of Red Valsen in The Naked and the Dead, his definition of self has been limited to negatives. He knows what he must defy and reject, but not what he must affirm and commit himself to. The social ills which Sergius sees continue to exist, and he, feeling unable to rectify them, leaves America. Perhaps the most pessimistic statement on the sickness of the American society, and its contagious quality for the indi­vidual, is implicit in Eitel’s return to the superficial trappings of the American dream.

But Eitel is old and tired, and Sergius is still young. It seems implicit in the novel that Sergius is meant to carry on where Eitel left off. The men are linked through­ out the novel, not only by friendship but also through their parallel sexual connection with Lulu. It is significant that a part of Eitel’s having returned full circle is his resumption of the sexual relationship with Lulu. In the course of his circular movement through defiance and ultimate capitulation, Eitel has lost his capacity to make artistically honest movies; and in recognizing his loss, he leaves Sergius with a final word of advice in an imaginary conversation within his mind:

“For you see,” he confessed in his mind, “I have lost the final desire of the artist, the desire which tells us that when all else is lost, when love is lost and adventure, pride of self, and pity, there still remains that world we may create, more real to us, more real to others, than the mummery of what happens, passes, and is gone.” “So, do try, Sergius,” he thought, “try for that other world, the real world, where orphans burn orphans and nothing is more difficult to discover than a simple fact. And with the pride of the artist, you the small trumpet of your defiance.”[11]

The implication that Sergius carries on the spirit and work of Eitel becomes explicit in the play version of The Deer Park, where Sergius says, “And as he [Eitel] died, his spirit passed on to me, for to pass on one’s spirit is the one small gift we are allowed in Hell. . . .”[12] But in the play, certain major shifts in emphasis condition and clarify Mailer’s message, informed as it is by more than a decade of development. It should be stated immediately that it is impossible to determine at what point during the period between the publication of the novel and the production of the play any particular element of the later version was written. In Advertisements for Myself, pub­lished in 1959, Mailer stated that “Some time next year I plan to publish the play of The Deer Park.[13] He went on to state that the script was complete, and that the major problem lay in cutting enough material. Nonethe­less, eight years passed before the play reached the stage, and many lines are so similar to passages in An American Dream (1964) that they must seem to have been interpolated much later than 1959 and perhaps after 1964. Because of this textual situation, it seems simplest to deal with The Deer Park (P) as an interim piece in which Mailer’s position approaches that in An American Dream, without raising the issue of what material appeared first in the latter novel.

The major shift in emphasis apparent in The Deer Park (P) lies in the fact that Sergius, though still the narrator, is far less important as a character than he was in the novel. The major conflicts with which he was presented in the novel, that of the movie contract offer and the visit from the government men, are absent from the play. The result is to throw the character of Eitel into a position of far greater importance to the dramatic structure of the play. Further, Eitel seems a stronger, more positive character than he was in the novel. He is given lines which did not appear in the novel and which some­ times look forward to the statements of Stephen Richards Rojack, narrator of An American Dream, rather than back to the Eitel of the novel. For example, the play Eitel, speaking of his first night with Elena, says:

. . . something flew in like a madman on wings. An angel. For the first time in my life I felt there were some sweet substance to be found in love, not power, but the sweetest thing I’d ever known-heaven. . . . it was as if God had touched me with a finger, and I didn’t want to lose that sensation ever again.[14]

And later, speaking of their lost love to Elena, he says, “It wasn’t all wasted, Elena. I never knew what it was all about, until I learned from you.”[15] At the end of the play, Eitel dies, a major plot departure from the novel. And this death has the ring of tragedy about it. For although Eitel has failed at love and at defying the committee in the play, he dies raging at what he should have done with his life:

Aiiiiihhhh, the clot of unborn rage at all I have not done and all that I will never do . . . it tears now at my heart, and I am going to die. . .[16]

This is the portrait of a stronger man than the Eitel of the novel, who sinks passively into an empty life and sends Sergius off to replace him. In Advertisements for Myself, Mailer admits that in the final version of The Deer Park (N), Sergius began to become a portrait of the author himself:

I was now creating a man who was braver and stronger than me, and the more my new style succeeded, the more I was writing an implicit portrait of myself as well.[17]

In the interests of accuracy it must be stated that Mailer goes on to add that such a development is undesirable. Nonetheless, it seems reasonable that the strengthening of the character of Eitel in the play, and the shifting of dramatic structure (through cutting Sergius’ major con­flicts) to highlight Eitel further would imply a shift in authorial identification to the older man. (The Deer Park (N) was begun by Mailer before he was thirty, while the play was first performed on his forty-fourth birthday.) This is not to say that Eitel is always Mailer’s spokesman, but it is possible to see in the strengthened Eitel a step toward the next narrator of an author approaching middle age: Stephen Richards Rojack, a man in his early forties.

In An American Dream, Barney Oswald Kelly (a man evil enough to speak with some assurance of these things) states that with the current state of man’s world, earthly centers of evil may rival Hell:

“God might be having a very bad war with troops defecting everywhere. Who knows? Hell by now might be no worse than Las Vegas or Versailles.”[18]

It may be of some significance that both of these places figure in The Deer Park (N). Las Vegas is the scene of Sergius’ disastrous gambling losses, and Versailles was the site of the original deer park of Louis XV. In The Deer Park (P) the relation to Hell is explicit. Sergius tells the audience from the outset that he is in Hell, and all of the action takes place within Sergius’ mind, as is suggested by Mailer in his “Note on the Production”:

. . . the attempt must be made to suggest that the set bears some relation to the inner space of Sergius O’Shaugnessy’s memory, that the audience is in effect living within his mind.[19]

The play, then, more than the novel, is a vision of Hell. But it is not until An American Dream that Mailer will present a vision of heaven. Nonetheless, there is a move­ment toward hope in Mailer’s vision. Even in Hell, there is the possibility of being saved, but it depends on communicating emotionally with other human beings. Sergius tells us:

. . . to pass on one’s spirit is the one small gift we are allowed in Hell, and if there are enough to care for us, we can enter your world again . . .[12]

But the clearest possibility of reaching a vision of heaven lies in a true love between a man and a woman. In the novel Eitel has no such vision. The closest he comes is to recognize the need for bravery in love, in his theory of the “buried nature” in each person (paraphrased by Sergius):

Yet if people were lucky and if they were brave, some­ times they would find a mate with the same buried nature and that could make them happy and strong. At least relatively so.[20]

In order to see the distance between this modest and carefully qualified view of love and that of the play Eitel, one need only compare this passage to that quoted above in which the first night with Elena is described in religious terms.

The necessity for one to be brave in order to keep love alive looms larger in each succeeding work of Mailer’s. In The Deer Park (P) Elena points out Eitel’s failure to him:

. . I would travel anywhere with him, with any man who was brave enough to keep my love alive, brave enough to live with my cruel and greedy blood. But it hasn't been that way.[21]

Neither the Sergius nor the Eitel of the novel, nor the Eitel of the play succeed in being brave enough to make love work, and thereby to be saved. But each of these characters is another step toward the man who will be brave enough, Stephen Richards Rojack.

Mailer tells us in Advertisements for Myself[22] that he originally planned The Deer Park (N) as the first in a massive eight-novel series which was to encompass almost every aspect of twentieth-century American life. Long before the novel was completed, he abandoned the larger project and structured The Deer Park as an independent work. But vestiges of the eight-volume supra-novel may be seen in three pieces published in Advertisements for Myself. “The Man Who Studied Yoga” is a short story which was to serve as the prologue to the eight volumes, introducing the major themes involved. The most immedi­ately obvious connection to The Deer Park lies in several echoes of the name Sergius O‘Shaugnessy. In the story there are references to a psychiatrist named Dr. Sergius, and to two men named O‘Shaugnessy. The other two pieces are a “Prologue to a Long Novel,“ and “The Time of Her Time,“ from the same untitled and unfinished novel. These indicate that major characters in this novel were to include Sergius O‘Shaugnessy and Marion Faye, a homosexual pimp who figured largely in The Deer Park. “The Time of Her Time,“ which may stand alone as a short story, deals entirely and explicitly with the sexual relations of the narrator and a college girl. The piece introduces the concept of sex as armed conflict which will be carried further in An American Dream.

The narrator of “The Time of Her Time” is Sergius O’Shaugnessy, back from Mexico and conducting a bull­ fighting school in a Greenwich Village loft. But the first person narrator of “Prologue to a Long Novel” seems to present a much more complex experiment in point of view:

{{quote|So, properly, I should introduce myself here, and indeed I would, if I were able, but my name eludes me and at present would slip by without meaning to you—I am virtually married to Time unless she has already divorced me . . . and so my name alters as Time turns away from me. . . .[23]

The mysterious, shifting identity suggested by this narrator is similar to that in “The Man Who Studied Yoga”:

I would introduce myself if it were not useless. The name I had last night will not be the same as the name I have tonight.[24]

The projected long novel, ultimately abandoned, carries with it some of the plans and concerns of the eight-volume work. From the fragments it appears that Mailer intended a complex, chronologically shifting structure based on some theory of time which is difficult to understand from the limited material available to us. What is of some greater relevance here is the introduction, in the “Pro­logue,” of a theory central to Mailer’s developing system of metaphor: the relationship between murder and cancer:

The tension to murder is as excruciating as the temptations to confess when on a torture rack. So long as one holds one’s tongue the destruction of the body continues, the limbs and organs under question may be passing the last answer by which they can still recover, and if one is going to confess eventually it is wiser to do it soon, do it now, before the damage is irrevocable. So with the desire to murder. Each day we contain it a little of that murder is visited on our own bodies . . . who knows? this may indeed be the day when the first of the exploited cells takes the inde­pendent and mysterious flip from one life into another—from the social, purposive, impoverished and un­speakably depressing daily life of an obedient cell, to the other life, wildlife, the life of the weed or hired gun, rebel cell growing by its own laws. . . . Yes, to hold murder too long is to lose the body, hasten that irreversible instant when the first cell leaps upon the habit of stale intelligence and gives itself as volunteer to the uniformed cadres. . . .[25]

A poem entitled “Dead Ends,” which was to appear in the untitled novel, states in part that:

Cancer comes from
television
filter cigarettes
air conditioning
foam rubber
the smell of plastic
deodorant
wit that fails
antibiotics
the mirror, yes,
and all other attempts
of the sucker esprit
to get something
for no.[26]

Cancer, then, is the result of artificiality and falsity. It exists in society and in the individual. And it is not, for Mailer, always figurative. The cancer which comes from stifling one’s true impulses is a literal disease. In fact, years later, in Cannibals and Christians (1966), Mailer could carry his extra-medical theory to the point where he says:

If one were to take the patients in a hospital, give them guns and let them shoot on pedestrians down from hospital windows you may be sure you would find a few miraculous cures.[27]

The Eitel of the play version of The Deer Park dies with a “clot of unborn rage” tearing at his heart. But both Mailer and his spokesmen have been changing, and the stifling of oneself to the point of destruction is not the way to be taken in the next work. Speaking of the untitled novel discussed above, Mailer says, “I have begun to work up another hand, a new book which will be the proper book of an outlaw.”[28] The novel of which he was speaking was never written in its projected form, but in a very real sense the book of the outlaw, of the man set outside society, does take form in An American Dream.

Notes

  1. Mailer 1955, p. 300.
  2. Except when obvious, the distinction between these two works will be designated by the symbols (N) and (P).
  3. 3.0 3.1 Mailer 1959, p. 237.
  4. Mailer 1959, p. 233.
  5. Mailer 1959, p. 234.
  6. Mailer is mistaken: Nick went to Yale.
  7. Mailer 1959, p. 235.
  8. Mailer 1955, p. 123.
  9. The scene has parallels in the “secret policeman’s” quizzing of McLeod in Barbary Shore and in Rojack’s confrontation with the strongarm cops, Laznicki and O’Brien, in An American Dream.
  10. Mailer 1955, p. 276.
  11. Mailer 1955, p. 318.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Mailer 1967, p. 189.
  13. Mailer 1959, p. 442.
  14. Mailer 1967, p. 318. Cf. Mailer 1965, p. 122.
  15. Mailer 1967, p. 187. Cf. Mailer 1965, p. 123.
  16. Mailer 1967, p. 188.
  17. Mailer 1959, p. 238.
  18. Mailer 1965, p. 221.
  19. Mailer 1967, p. 33.
  20. Mailer 1955, p. 107.
  21. Mailer 1967, pp. 185–186.
  22. Mailer 1959, p. 154.
  23. Mailer 1959, p. 512.
  24. Mailer 1959, p. 157.
  25. Mailer 1959, p. 517.
  26. Mailer 1959, p. 510. The poem is written by a homosexual who, as Mailer (1959, p. 504) tells us “is obsessed with the thesis that men become homosexual in order to save themselves from cancer.”
  27. Mailer 1966, p. 91.
  28. Mailer 1959, p. 248.

Works Cited

  • Mailer, Norman (1959). Advertisements for Myself. New York: G. P. Putnum's Sons.
  • — (1955). An American Dream. New York: Dial Press. Paperback edition published 1966 by Dell Publishing Co., New York. All page references are to the Dell edition.
  • — (1966). Cannibals and Christians. New York: The Dial Press.
  • — (1955). The Deer Park. New York: G. P. Putnum's Sons. Paperback edition published 1957 by Signet (New American Library of World Literature, New York). All page references are to the Signet edition.
  • — (1967). The Deer Park: A Play. New York: Dell Publishing Co.