A Brief Chat With Gore Vidal

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by jason_els, Sep 30, 2009.

  1. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    The Times has published a fascinating interview with Gore Vidal, one of America's greatest living authors. Vidal speaks frankly about love, politics, and where he thinks America is heading. It's a great read.

    Some excerpts:

     
  2. Flashy

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    I had read this about 6 hours ago and was going to reprint it here, and ask people what they thought of Gore Vidal.

    admittedly, i have never done much reading of his work, though i have found some of his statements and interviews interesting. I agree with some of the things he says...but others are a tad absurd.

    though the thing he said in that interview about the Kennedy's was rather interesting considering his connection to them
     
  3. D_Ireonsyd_Colonrinse

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    Oh, I love Gore Vidal.

    Here's a clip of live television from ABC's 1968 Democratic convention. Gore and William F. Buckley were asked to provide political commentary.

    Here's Buckley saying to Gore (on live tv), "Now, listen you queer, stop calling me a crypto-nazi, or I'll sock you in the goddamned face and you'll stay plastered."


    YouTube - William Buckley Vs Gore Vidal
     
  4. Bbucko

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    My only beef with Gore Vidal is how he slipped off the radar by the late 70s and never found another platform for his (admittedly brilliant) voice.

    Myra Breckinridge was the first really dirty book I ever read: I purloined my uncle's copy when I was 12.
     
  5. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    He really loves to be the Cassandra in the room, don't he?
    Still, there's no living essayist in English whose work I love more. He's so elegant, informed, and sure of what he thinks.
    I do think he's becoming a bit of a parody of himself.
    And his support of Timothy McVeigh, murderer of hundreds of innocents, is just odd.
    His memoirs, Palimpsest and Point to Point Navigation, are fascinating, especially Palimpsest. (Lots about Jimmy Trimble, his only infatuation, in that one.)

    I realize time and chance happeneth to them all, but gosh, he's showing his 83 years.
    Here are some pics from his salad days.
    The young writer, I would guess in his late 40s.
    The ascendant prophet.
    Sharp-eyed witness to his times.
    The man who knew everyone, at far right, with Tennessee Williams to his right. (He was then 23.)
    His wit and beauty caught just about everybody.
     
  6. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Did you ever read Myron? Sorta filthy, and very funny.
     
  7. Bbucko

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    I picked up a copy of Myra with Myron attached on the back. It's good but even more hallucinogenic than Myra. The bits where things were written backwards are some of the least accessible fiction I've ever attempted (literally).
     
  8. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Yes, Myron was far wackier.
    (I seem to remember a starlet hiding a note in sword and sandals actor Steve's foreskin. Delightfully funny, but so many brain cells ago that I'm not sure I remember.)
    But Vidal was so non-PC ....
    I love him for that.
     
  9. Northland

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    He's far nicer in print than in person. I mean the nerve of him getting so bent out of shape when I ogled his weapon in the men's room. (okay folks, that did not happen so don't start asking for details).

    Truth be known, in person he has a kindness but at the same time, he's somewhat offish, and he is indeed a wonderful writer. A bright man and still able to carry on rapid conversations, which is definitely a plus, he tends towards insults and putdowns if you so much as disagree with him, making clear that his years of life have 'concurred wisdom' (1) upon him which 'you shall never have' (2) Other than that I could almost adore him. I figure some of his attitude is related to the constant mobbing by people-fans, foes, publicity hounds, interviewers, ladder climbers, etc. etc. and is something of a self-protection mechanism within himself. Met him on two occasions, which was nice, and is more than enough for me. At any rate, he's tons better than the hack writer Larry Block (and not paranoid like Block is either).

    Anyway, he'll be 84 in a couple of days so I suppose we can turn this into a birthday thread for him.


    (1) and (2)Yes he said these things, he did not direct the comments towards me, it was directed at another of the guests at a benefit dinner in posthumous honor of a deceased author with whom he'd had a friendship.
     
  10. HazelGod

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    Driving home today, I entered (not merged onto) a freeway from a flyover and saw a pickup in the lane beside me swerve back out of my lane where he'd been creeping over trying to exit.

    His presence and move shocked my wife, while I hardly paid him any mind having seen him well in advance. I explained to her that such things don't surprise me at all anymore...I actually anticipate other drivers doing the stupidest things imaginable around me, and they usually don't let me down. I'm only surprised when I notice someone behaving as though they actually have a clue.

    Vidal's right: we are surrounded by a culture of self-absorbed mediocrity...sad but true.
     
  11. vince

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    Some favorites among many gems from Vidal-

    "Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.''

    "It's not enough to succeed. Others must fail." :biggrin:
     
  12. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Haha.
    Along the same lines, he also said, "Whenever a friend succeeds a little something in me dies."

    We all know there's a bit of that tendency in us, I think.
     
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