in Primary

64.10

“Mailer vs. Scully.” Architectural Forum, April, 96-97. Debate on modern architecture with Vincent J. Scully Jr., Professor of Art History at Yale, in three parts:

  1. excerpts from Mailer’s August 1963 “Big Bite” column (63.9);
  2. Scully’s response, which appeared almost simultaneously in the Village Voice on 16 April;
  3. Mailer’s rebuttal, which appears here for the first time.

The editors of Architectural Forum state that the first part of Mailer’s contribution is a condensation of two of Mailer’s Esquire columns. This is not the case; all of the first part is from the August 1963 column. A final note: Mailer has published one section of this column five times. It represents his polemical style at its best:

The essence of totalitarianism is that it beheads. It beheads individuality, variety, dissent, extreme possibility, romantic faith; it blinds vision, deadens instinct; it obliterates the past.

Rpt: Rebuttal only, slightly revised in 64.16 and 64.17; partial in 66.11 and 68.11.