Having been introduced to Adele Morales (by Daniel Wolf, a close friend) during a visit to New York City, Mailer separates from Bea in the winter, and begins living with Adele in New York, first at 85 Monroe Street (March through June), then in a sub-let at 409 East 64th Street (through mid-July), and finally at 14 Pitt Street (September 1951 to June 1952).
He also makes a quick trip to Palm Springs, CA (the setting for The Deer Park) and Hollywood with Mickey Knox in June, and spends July and August in Provincetown.
Bea and Susan move to Mexico.
Barbary Shore is published on 24 May and receives nearly all negative reviews, including one in Time by Max Gissen, who labels the novel “paceless, tasteless and graceless,” a line Mailer never forgets. The novel does make the best seller list for three weeks, however.
Meets William Styron, and they become friends.
Shortly after Barbary Shore is published, Mailer is introduced to James Jones by Vance Bourjaily, and they become friends immediately.
“Norman Mailer.” American Novelists of Today, by Harry R. Warfel, 276. New York: American Book Co. Biographical entry containing Mailer’s 102-word statement on his plans for future work. He says, “I have no concerted program. I would like to experiment and to grow, but I pursue this aim through no particular standards. Technique must always be secondary to the world one constructs in a novel.” Rpt: Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1972.
“The Defence of the Compass.” In The Western Defences, edited by Sir John George Smyth, 134-44. London: Wingate. Essay on the prospect of a military collision between the state capitalism of Russia and the monopoly capitalism of the U.S., “the Colossi.” This version strongly echoes the arguments of Barbary Shore (51.1) and was obviously written shortly before or after the novel appeared. Rpt: Mailer’s extended comments on the Korean War were cut out of the greatly revised version which appeared as “The Meaning of ‘Western Defense’” in Dissent (54.1); 59.13.
Letter to the Editor. Esquire, November. Mailer offers his support for the release of Ezra Pound from the psychiatric ward where he had been confined since 1945. Rpt: 14.3.
“Authors and Humanism.” Humanist 11 (October-November), 201. Mailer answers the question “Are you a humanist?” by reference to Marx, Freud and his current atheism. Rpt: Humanist 41 (March-April 1981), 23.
“Talk with Norman Mailer.” Interview by Harvey Breit. New York Times, 3 June, Sec. 7, p. 3. Important comment on the influence of Moby-Dick on The Naked and the Dead (48.2). Mailer says of 48.2: “I had Ahab in it, and I suppose the mountain was Moby Dick. Of course, I also think the book will stand or fall as a realistic novel.” Rpt: The Writer Observed, by Harvey Breit. Cleveland: World, 1956; 88.6. See Bernard Horn’s article, “Ahab and Ishmael at War: The Presence of Moby-Dick in The Naked and the Dead,” American Quarterly 34 (fall 1982), 379-95.
Barbary Shore. New York: Rinehart, 24 May; London: Cape, 21 January 1952. Novel, 312 pp., $3.
The 1971 Cape hardcover edition and the 1973 softcover Panther edition (a Cape imprint) contains a “Note from the Author,” which consists of “Second Advertisement for Myself: Barbary Shore” (minus final sentence, with one other small change) from 59.13. Dedication: “To Jean Malaquais.” A dramatic version was presented at the New York Shakespeare Festival Public Theater, 10-27 January 1974. Jack Gelber wrote and directed the adaptation, which has never been published. Rpt: 59.13 (eight brief excerpts from novel, nine pp. total); 98.7 (partial). See 03.7, 23-26 and 13.2, 122-35.
I started Barbary Shore as some sort of fellow-traveler, and finished with a political position which was a far-flung mutation of Trotskyism. And the drafts of the book reflected these ideological changes so drastically that the last draft of Barbary Shore is a different novel altogether and has almost nothing in common with the first draft but the names. (64.1)