1959

Elizabeth Anne (“Betsy”) born to Adele 28 September.

On 6 November, Putnam’s publishes Advertisements for Myself, an omnibus volume containing new and previously published work, including “The White Negro,” critical assessments of his contemporaries, and “The Mind of an Outlaw,” his essay on the struggle to write and publish The Deer Park. Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s City Lights Books publishes “The White Negro” in pamphlet form.

Norman Mailer (1959)

in Days | 64 Words

59.19

“Is Modern Man Meaningless.” Article by Mary Perot Nichols. Village Voice, 30 December, 1, 3. Report on an 18 December symposium at Judson Memorial Church, New York City, sponsored by Dissent, titled “Happy Critics and a Rigged Society.” Joining Mailer on the panel were Judson pastor Rev. Howard R. Moody, Rev. Stephen Chinlund, Irving Howe and Harold Rosenberg, all of whom are quoted. Chinlund visited Mailer when he was confined at Bellevue in December 1960.

59.18

“Eggheads in the Tall Corn.” Article by unidentified writer. Newsweek, 28 December, 65. Final report on the 4-5 December symposium at the University of Iowa at which Mailer, Dwight Macdonald, Mark Harris and Ralph Ellison discussed literature and culture. The symposium sessions were moderated by Paul Engle of the university and Arnold Gingrich, editor-publisher of Esquire. Mailer said that the totalitarian threats of the 1930s were less terrifying than the current “conformity, monotony and boredom.” See 59.15, 59.16, 59.17, 83.10.

Norman Mailer and Ralph Ellison (1959)

59.17

“Critic At-Large: Mailer’s Apology.” Article-interview by Hoke Norris. Chicago Sun-Times, 10 December, Sec. 2, p. 26. Discussion of the University of Iowa symposium at which the film version of The Naked and the Dead (48.2) was shown. See 59.15, 59.16, 59.18, 83.10.

59.16

“Interest in Books Flowers Where the Tall Corn Grows.” Article-interview by Van Allen Bradley. Chicago News, 7 December. Another report on the 4-5 December University of Iowa symposium. Mailer says the writer’s task is to “build a bridge across the no man’s land of the mass media and reach the serious reader who cannot stand bad books.” See 59.15, 59.17, 59.18, 83.10.

59.15

“2 Symposium Authors Say Write for Elite, Not Masses.” Article-interview by Dorthy Collin. The Daily Iowan, 5 December, 1. Report on the first day of a symposium, “The Writer in a Mass Culture,” co-sponsored by Esquire magazine and the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, 4-5 December. Mailer is quoted on the corruption of American writers by the mass media. See 59.16, 59.17, 59.18, 83.10.

59.14

“The Mind of an Outlaw.” Esquire, November, 87-90, 92, 94. Watershed essay on the struggle to publish The Deer Park (55.4). The November Esquire appeared just before Advertisements for Myself (59.13). Rpt: 55.5; as “Fourth Advertisement for Myself: The Last Draft of The Deer Park” in 59.13; 76.14, 13.1. See 13.2, 179-82.

59.13

Advertisements for Myself. New York: Putnam’s, 6 November; London: Deutsch, October 1961 (see 61.15 for note on British edition). Miscellany, 532 pp., $5.

Advertisements for Myself (1959)

Original working title: “The Hip and the Square: A Miscellany.” Republished with preface by Mailer. New York: Berkley, December 1976 (76.16). Preface reprinted (minus first paragraph) as “An Advertisement Advertised” in 82.16. Dedication: “I dedicate this book to the memory of Anne Mailer Kessler (1889-1958) and to David Kessler and to my father Isaac Barnett (“Barney”) Mailer.” Portions of this miscellany appeared in periodicals at approximately the same time the book was published, a tactic that Mailer used to herald most of his major books from 1959 on. Rpt: 59.12; all of the short stories appear in 67.11 and 82.19; several selections appear in 98.7 and 13.1. See 59.10, 59.14, 13.2, 242-58.

Mailer:

So Advertisements became the book in which I tried to separate my legitimate spiritual bile from my self-pity and maybe it was the hardest continuing task I had yet set myself. What aggravated every problem was that I was also trying to give up smoking, and the advertisements in this book, printed in italics, are testimony to the different way I was now obliged to use language. (76.14)

[divider]

59.12

“Sentiments Larger than Work.” Saturday Review, 10 October, 21. Advance excerpt of 200 words from essay, “Last Advertisement for Myself Before the Way Out,” from forthcoming Advertisements for Myself (59.13).

59.11

“Scenes from ‘The Deer Park’” [scenes 7 and 10]. Partisan Review 26 (fall), 527-34. Dramatic fragment. Rpt: 60.4, and in a greatly revised form in 67.13. Other scenes appear in 59.13. See 57.2, 13.2, 224-25.