The Mad Mongolian, and Norman Mailer, Too!


Clip Job: an excerpt every day from the Voice archives.

November 18, 1959, Vol. V, No. 4

The Mad Mongolians

By David McReynolds

On Monday morning, November 9, every paper in town gave front-page coverage to the five narcotics-squad detectives who spent a full month in the Village, hiding behind beards, berets, and bongos, in order to seize a pound of marijuana and a handful of Village characters including someone called “The Mad Mongolian of Bleecker Street”…

In a city wracked by corruption, with an administration reeking with pay-offs, the best our police can do is spend a month organizing a raid in the Village to pick up a pound of marijuana!

…And now I see from the Mirror that some columnist named Lee Mortimer is waging a campaign against what he delicately refers to as “homo hangouts” – and the cops have obliged him by closing down 13 such alleged hangouts, including Lennie’s in the Village. The only group more exposed to public attack than the beats are the homosexuals, and i have no doubt the cops will eventually realize – with an assist from some bright public-relations man – the enormous value of linking these two totally different groups under one heading and then waging a campaign to stamp out “vice” in New York. Indeed, they have already moved in this direction, for I notice that one of their “beatnik spies” was given the name “Jamie the Queer.”

Books: Advertisements For Myself

By Kenneth Tynan

In his big new book Norman Mailer has attempted an act of public self-exposure that goes far beyond the prescribed limits of conventional autobiography. In part it is an anthology of his work before and since “The Naked and the Dead” – short stories, excerpts from “Barbary Shore” and “The Deer Park,” letters to newspapers, clippings from the Village Voice, snatches of unfinished novels, fragments of a play, articles on homosexuality and Western defense, and long exegeses of Hip. We are in the presence – by heaven, he is always there! – of a writer whose mental and emotional spectrum is wider than any of his American coevals can boast. Some day, as Mailer says, somebody is going to have to fling a bridge between Marx and Freud, and he is ready to risk anything to be the first man across…

[Each weekday morning, we post an excerpt from another issue of the Voice, going in order from our oldest archives. Visit our Clip Job archive page to see excerpts back to 1956.]