“On Picasso, Two Writers and an Editor on the Spot.” Article-interview by Sarah Lyall. New York Times, 7 July, C13. Account of the problem faced by Jason Epstein of Random House in editing Picasso books by Mailer and the authorized biographer, John Richardson. Mailer said, “I offered to move publishers for one book,” which he did, solving the problem. Richardson called Mailer’s books a “scissors-and-paste job.” See 93.5.
“Satanic Verses: Literary Lions.” Article by Philip Gourevitch. New York, 15 February, 20. A second report on the staged reading of “Don Juan in Hell” at Carnegie Hall. Mailer, Gore Vidal and Gay Talese are quoted. Mailer says, “I know Gore well enough to know the Devil would be a role that would appeal to him, as it has all along.” Vidal answers, “I’ll take Norman’s compliment; I’ll play the Devil. I will make that Devil, that Lucifer, so noble that he will rise above all of the towers of Manhattan in that glorious evening.” See 93.1.
“Chronicle: Mailer Is Presenting ‘Don Juan in Hell’ with an All-Star Literary Cast.” Article by unidentified writer. New York Times, 9 February, Sec. B, p. 6. Report on upcoming (15 February) reading at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall of “Don Juan in Hell,” which is a large part of the third act of George Bernard Shaw’s “Man and Superman.” Mailer (standing in for the ill Kurt Vonnegut) as the Commander, Susan Sontag as Dona Ana, Gay Talese as Don Juan, and Gore Vidal as the Devil comprised the cast. Mailer conceived of and directed this one-time benefit performance for the Actors Studio in New York. The event was also homage to the 1951 reading of “Don Juan” at Carnegie by Charles Boyer, Charles Laughton, Agnes Moorehead and Sir Cedric Hardwicke. See 93.2 and Bruce Weber’s “The Devil and the Commander,” New York Times, 19 February, Sec. B, p. 2.