Publishes his first piece, “The Meaning of ‘Western Defense,’” in Dissent, and joins its editorial board, remaining on it until the 1980s.

In the spring, completes The Deer Park.

Marries Adele on 19 April at City Hall in New York.

Adele Mailer (1957)

Visits Susan and Bea in Mexico, June through October, again stopping to visit Gwaltney in Arkansas. Upon their return to New York City in November, they move into a duplex at 320 East 55th Street.

In the same month, with publication less than three months away, Rinehart stops publication of The Deer Park because of six lines describing fellatio. The novel is subsequently rejected by six publishers before being accepted by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in early 1955.

On December 1, he begins keeping a journal titled “Lipton’s,” an introspective marijuana journal that runs to 110,000 words.

Norman Mailer (1954)

in Days | 134 Words


“David Riesman Reconsidered.” Dissent 1 (autumn), 349-59. Review essay of David Riesman’s Individualism Reconsidered. Rpt: 59.13.


“In Re: Sidney Hook.” Letter to the editor. Dissent 1 (summer), 303. Mailer refuses to recant his “facetious” description of Sidney Hook in 54.1 as a “liberal-with-muscles.” He ends by saying that if Hook is “an almost lone philosophical defender of democratic socialist and humanist values, it makes me Leo Tolstoy.”


“The Meaning of ‘Western Defense.’” Dissent 1 (spring), 157-65. Essay. Greatly revised version of “The Defence of the Compass” (51.4). Mailer’s first appearance came in the second number of Dissent, issued on 1 April. He was a member of the editorial board of Dissent from 1954 until the mid-80s. Rpt: 59.13.