1956

Publishes 17 weekly columns in the Voice, the first 14 titled “Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers,” and the last three, “The Hip and the Square,” from 11 January through 2 May, at which point he resigns from active participation because of editorial differences with his partners. He ends his contribution to the paper with an essay strongly affirming the merits of Samuel Beckett’s play, Waiting for Godot.

In early May, “The Man Who Studied Yoga,” which Mailer conceived as the preface to a series of eight linked novels, is published in New Short Novels 2.

The Mailers spend the summer in Europe, visiting Spain, Germany (touring Buchenwald), Italy and Paris, where they are introduced to James Baldwin by Jean Malaquais.

In the fall, they move to Bridgewater, CT, buying a house near the home of William Styron. They also spend time with an English professor, John W. Aldridge, who becomes one of Mailer’s most consistent critical supporters. Mailer begins to learn how to box from his father-in-law, Al Morales, a former professional boxer. And builds his version of an orgone box.

Norman Mailer (c.1956)

in Days | 179 Words

56.26

“A Public Notice by Norman Mailer.” Village Voice, 9 May, 12. A paid statement on Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” in which Mailer reverses his negative comments on the play given in his 2 May column (56.17). The statement contains Mailer’s first published statement of his personal belief in a limited God. Herbert Gold claimed in a 10 November article in the Nation that Mailer was “fired” from the Voice for what he wrote about “Godot.” Daniel Wolf, editor of the Voice, denied this in an 8 December letter to the Nation. Rpt: 59.13 (minus prefatory “Advertiser’s Note” in which Mailer explains that he has paid for this notice “rather than embarrass editorial caution by asking it to be printed otherwise.”)

56.25

“The Man Who Studied Yoga.” In New Short Novels 2, 1-29. New York: Ballantine, early May, simultaneously as a softcover. Novella (with brief prefatory comment on unnumbered page facing p. 1) intended as preface to a cycle of eight interlocking novels (The Deer Park [55.4] was the only novel of the cycle to be published). One of only a couple of times Mailer uses an omniscient narrator in fiction, the others being “Advertisements for Myself on the Way Out” (58.4) and The Castle in the Forest (07.10). Rpt: 59.13 (with revised and expanded preface), 67.11, 82.19, 98.7. See 58.4.

56.24

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letters to the editor of Village Voice concerning Quickly column, 25 April, 4. Mailer notes that favorable letters outnumbered unfavorable ones after his 15 April column.

56.23

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letter to editor of Village Voice from Kenneth J. Schmidt concerning Quickly column, 14 March, 4.

56.22

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letters to the editor of Village Voice concerning Quickly 20 column, 22 February, 4.

56.21

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letter to the editor of Village Voice from Kenneth J. Schmidt about Quickly column, 8 February, 4.

56.20

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letters to the editor of Village Voice concerning Quickly column, 1 February, 11.

56.19

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letters to the editor of Village Voice concerning Quickly column, 25 January, 5.

56.18

Quickly: A Column for Slow Readers. Village Voice. Reply to letter to the editor of Village Voice from Joe Jensen about Quickly column, an exchange that continues irregularly until final column, 18 January, 4.