“Mailer and [Erskine] Caldwell Join Academy’s Select 50.” Article by Herbert Mitgang. New York Times, 8 December, 13. Report on the 7 December induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters of two new members to fill the chairs of departed members. Mailer inherited chair 19, last held by Tennessee Williams and before that by Alexander Calder.
Mailer: “Maybe some of his [Williams’s] talent will rub off on me. I’d like to do a good play before I die—before I give up the seat.” In a citation by the Academy, Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. said: “In a career of living dangerously, he has shown qualities of passion, imagination, literary power and psychological subtlety that will surely make posterity regard him as one of the giants—if at times a wounded giant—of our age.”