65.15

“2,000 Hear ‘Teachers-In’ Demand LBJ Resignations.” Article by W.J. McCarthy. Boston Herald, 15 July, Sec. C, p. 44. Report on a Harvard teach-in organized by Martin Peretz, Harvard instructor, at which Mailer, Staughton Lynd and others spoke against U.S. policy in South Vietnam. Mailer: “A future death of the spirit lies close and heavy upon American life.” See 65.16.

65.14

“Norman Mailer on LBJ.” Realist, no. 60 (June), 1, 10-15. Transcription of speech given on 21 May (Vietnam Day) on the Berkeley campus of the University of California. In an accompanying “Author’s Note,” Mailer states that portions of the speech were taken from “my article on the Republican Convention printed in Esquire in November 1964 [64.20] . . . from a review I did in the New York Herald Tribune on Lyndon Johnson’s book My Hope for America [64.21] . . . [and] a fragment from a debate in Chicago with William Buckley [63.15].” The final line of Why Are We in Vietnam? (67.15)—“Vietnam. Hot dam [sic]”—is used in the essay as a way of describing L.B.J.’s relief and excitement at finding an issue to shift the country’s attention from the civil rights movement, except that Mailer reverses the order: “Hot Damn. Viet Nam.” Rpt: Peace News (London) no. 1522 (27 August), 5-8; with an additional introductory paragraph (in which he refers to himself as a “left conservative”) in We Accuse, edited by James Petras. Berkeley: Diablo Press, September; as “A Speech at Berkeley on Vietnam Day” in 66.11 and 68.11; partial in 98.7. See 65.12, 65.18.

65-14

 

65.13

“The Boston Trial of Naked Lunch.” Evergreen Review, no. 36 (June), 40-44, 46-49, 86-88. Court testimony of Mailer and Allen Ginsberg opposing the suppression of William Burroughs’s novel. Rpt: As “Excerpts from the Boston Trial of Naked Lunch” in Naked Lunch. New York: Grove Press, 1966 (softcover edition). See 62.24, 65.1, 81.21, 92.12, 96.7, 97.19a, 98.14a.

65.12

“‘Viet Nam Day’—Few Surprises: The Theme Was ‘Hate America.’” Article by unidentified writer. Tocsin: The West’s Leading Anti-Communist Weekly (Oakland, Cal.), 6 (no. 20) 27 May, 1, 3. Report on the May 21-22 Vietnam protest meetings at the University of California, Berkeley, including quotes from the speeches of Dick Gregory, I.F. Stone and Mailer, who says, “We are a property-loving nation, obsessed with the desire to destroy other people’s property.” See 65.14, 65.18.

65.11a

“Norman Mailer’s Night Out.” Article-interview by David Leitch. The Sunday Times (London). 25 April, 1.  A long piece in which Mailer recounts some of the challenges he faced in writing An American Dream (65.7). Mailer: “There were times in the first two or three installments when I felt scared I’d dry up—but then it was all right.” He also discusses President Kennedy, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Beckett, James T. Farrell, and his friend, boxer José Torres.

65.11

“Norman Mailer on An American Dream.” Interview by unidentified interviewer. New York Post, 25 March, 38. Comment on the novel (65.7) and its reviews. Rpt: 88.6.

65.9

“A Small Public Notice by Norman Mailer.” Partisan Review 32 (spring), 180-81. Paid advertisement consisting of a brief statement by Mailer prefacing a reprinting of the heart of John W. Aldridge’s 19 March Life review of 65.7, to “accompany” Elizabeth Hardwick’s negative review in the same number of Partisan Review.

65.8

“‘Four Years Ago My Life Went Out of Control.’” Article by George Troy. Providence Journal, 21 March. Another account of Mailer’s session with reporters at the National Book Awards ceremony. See 65.4, 65.6, 65.10.

65.7

An American Dream. New York: Dial, 15 March. London: Deutsch, 26 April. Novel, 270 pp., $4.95.

An American Dream (1965)

Dedication and acknowledgment: “To Beverly and to Michael Burks; an appreciation to Anne Barry, Richard Baron, Walter Minton, Harold Hayes, Donald Fine and not least, Scott Meredith.” Mailer’s fourth wife, Beverly Bentley, is the woman pictured on the dustwrapper of the first edition. Rpt: First appeared, in a different form, in Esquire, January-August 1964 (64.2-64.9); partial in 98.7. See 63.13, 65.3, 65.5, 65.9, 65.11, 70.4, 70.14, 83.6.

Mailer:

It’s a novel of suspense, not of intellectual action. I wanted an intellectual for a hero who was engaged in 32 hours of continuous action and so did not have time to cerebrate. But the only idea in An American Dream (it is the idea which I think makes the book so repellent to some reviewers) is that love is the one human condition we never capture without paying an extraordinary and continuing price. This is certainly not a new idea. But it is desperately out of fashion now, and besides—I did my best to pose this lone idea in as vivid and unendurable a manner as possible. (65.11)