in Primary


Letter to Pierre Brodin. In Présences: Contemporaines Écrivains Américains D’Aujourd’hui, by Pierre Brodin, 205. Paris: Les Nouvelles Éditions Debresse. Mailer answers Brodin’s query about his favorite French novels by saying that

the French novel has always been more congenial to me than the English, and much of what I learned as a young novelist came from Stendhal, from [Marcel] Proust, and from [André] Malraux.

He goes on to mention others: Gustave Flaubert, Emile Zola, André Gide, J.K. Huysmans, Charles Baudelaire, Jean-Paul Sartre and Georges Simenon, and “the largest single personal influence on my intellectual life has been my dear and old friend, Jean Malaquais.” Mailer’s letter is included in an appendix to this study of American writers. Rpt: 14.3.