1944

Drafted into the U.S. Army in January. On 7 January, he marries Bea, who joins the Waves and is commissioned.

Beatrice Mailer (1944)

In February, completes his second novel, A Transit to Narcissus (also based on his work at Boston State Hospital), which is not published until 1978.

On 27 March, is inducted into the army at Camp Upton on Long Island. His novella about combat in the South Pacific, “A Calculus at Heaven,” written his senior year, is included in Edwin Seaver’s Cross-Section: A Collection of American Writing, published in May.

In August, after four months of training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, he is sent to Fort Ord, California as an artillery trainee.

On 6 December, he ships out on the U.S.S. Sea Barb from San Francisco, arriving in New Guinea, Hollandia Harbor, on December 25, and on 29 December at Leyte Gulf, Philippines. Reads Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of the West, two works that influenced him deeply.

in Days | 161 Words

44.1

“A Calculus at Heaven.” In Cross-Section: A Collection of New American Writing, edited by Edwin Seaver, 317-53. New York: L.B. Fischer, April. Novella of Pacific combat, written for Robert Hillyer’s English A-5 class in Mailer’s senior year at Harvard. Mailer says in Advertisements for Myself (59.13) that it “does make an interesting contrast to The Naked and the Dead” (48.2). Original working title: “The Foundation,” drawn from a line in André Malraux’s Man’s Fate: “All that men are willing to die for, beyond self-interest, tends…to justify that fate by giving it a foundation in dignity.” Mailer’s first book appearance. Rpt: An excerpt titled “The Captain,” in The Artesian, with Mailer, bearded on the front cover. This quarterly was published in Ann Arbor, Mich., where John W. Aldridge, presumably, made the arrangement for publication. Aldridge, then a close friend of Mailer’s, taught at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor); 59.13, 67.11, 82.19.