styron writes to mailer


My mornings (12 noon +) are agony, and the daily Angst is hell. I look forward each day with the same hopeless ardor that a monk must envision paradise to the time when I’m free of this thing that constricts me, to the time when I’m “liberated” enough to be able to sit down and write 25 consecutive words without fear and trembling. It must be my liver, though it might be the heat—which has been terrible—and withal, no doubt, booze is heavily to blame. Anyway, it can’t last too much longer, for I’ll simply have to throw it all up and become a druggist or something. One thing, Rose is going to have a baby (I hope it’s a baby) next March and that might have the quality of snapping me out of my neurotic antics. It is strange, too, how on the weekends, when we go to see people in L.I. or in Conn., a sheer euphoria takes hold of me. I’m self-analytical enough to realize that my murderous anxiety mornings here in the city is because I’m faced with the ridiculous responsibility of creating a masterpiece, whereas the weekends have me gaily unburdened.

more from Styron and Mailer the NYRB here.