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The selected essays of Gore Vidal (eBook, 2008) …
So many conversations with famous friends over the years that no one else was there to witness, so many witty remarks by Vidal recalled only by him, so many famous names dropped. Dipping into the essay collections at random we find: "The last time I saw W.H. Auden ..." and "I once asked Andre Gide several searching questions ..." and "The last time I saw Dorothy Parker ..." and "Carlos Fuentes told me ..." If you groove on this kind of highfalutin gossip, "Point to Point Navigation" is your kind of book. To wit: "In London, [V.S.] Pritchett and I belonged to the same club ..." and "I suspect that Paul [Bowles] found unfathomable my interest in how the American experiment was turning out ..." and "Federico -- pardon me, Fred to those few of us who knew him well -- Fellini," calling him to say "We must meet immediately." He wants the advice of Gore -- damn, how could I have forgotten, I meant Gorino -- on how to deal with Paramount Studios. " know all this?" he asks Gorino rhetorically, "Ah, of course, tell you, don't they?" Of course, do. Everybody tells Vidal everything; like Nick Carraway in "Gatsby," he is privy to the secrets of wild, unknown men all over the world. You may not have known that he knew Auden or have cared what club Vidal or Pritchett belonged to, but legends aren't built by sitting around and waiting for other people to tell these kind of stories about you, especially when none of them ever has.
If you have followed Vidal's career as a writer and television celebrity, "Point to Point Navigation" will, along with "Palimpsest" (available in paperback from Penguin), serve as a kind of Cliffs Notes to his life. Admittedly, the more than 260 pages of the current volume combined with the 430-plus pages of "Palimpsest" makes one heck of a thick Cliffs Notes, but then Vidal has had nearly 50 volumes published since "Williwaw" 60 years ago and has appeared on hundreds of TV shows. Unfortunately, this raises two questions, neither one of which I have a satisfactory answer for. First, either you don't care about Vidal, in which case why would you want to read these books, and second, if you have followed Vidal over the years, why would you want to hear all this material rehashed? All the old feuds are resurrected -- if I read him one more time on his almost coming to blows with Bobby Kennedy, I think I'm going to punch someone myself -- and all the old enemies, most of whom we would have never known of in the first place if not for Vidal, are thrashed again. I would have thought that an editor, friend, would have advised him to stop going on and on about how Fred Kaplan supposedly screwed up his 1999 authorized biography, "Gore Vidal." I got it the first time: Vidal thinks the book is full of errors. I hadn't planned on reading it anyway, and even if I did, it would be a matter of profound indifference to me whether or not Kaplan was right about Gore Vidal and Paul Bowles renting a hovel in Tangier, Morocco, in 1949.
The selected essays of Gore Vidal
Much of the material in "Point to Point" overlaps with "Palimpsest," as indeed all of it overlaps with several thousand words Vidal has written over the years already published in collections such as "Matters of Fact and Fiction," "At Home" and "The Second American Revolution," among others, as well as countless hours of interviews. There are, to be sure, long, beautiful, thoughtful passages about the passing of Vidal's longtime companion, and a highly readable section on his friendship with Johnny Carson. "As we sat drinking on the balcony in the moonlight," Vidal writes, "we recalled [Jack] Paar's tantrums and how he had once, in a rage, walked off his own show. Also, how he had asked me if I'd like to be his summer replacement. I had said no. Paar was amazed, but then so was [Freddie] De Cordova, who asked me half a dozen times over twenty or thirty years if I'd like to sit in for Carson when he was performing in Las Vegas." Did I say a section about Johnny Carson? Pardon. Of course, I meant a section about how Johnny Carson related to Gore Vidal.
"The American tradition of independent and curious learning is kept alive in the wit and great expressiveness of Gore Vidal's criticism."
--Citation for the 1982 National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism
Praise for Gore Vidal's Previous Essay Collection,"In 114 essays written over a period of forty years, Gore Vidal has shown himself to be a masterly, learned, and percipient observer of an unparalleled range of subjects. assesses such diverse matters as modern French fiction, the Kennedys, underappreciated writers like Thomas Love Peacock, and the American attitude toward sex. He writes tenderly of authors and people he cherishes Eleanor Roosevelt, Tennessee Williams, William Dean Howells. Whatever his subject, he addresses it with an artist's resonant appreciation, a scholar's conscience, and the persuasive powers of a great essayist."
--Citation for the 1993 National Book Award
"Gore Vidal, essayist; so good that we cannot do without him. He is a treasure of the state."
--R. W. B. Lewis,
"Gore Vidal is the master essayist of our age, and we should thank the gods that we still have him to kick us around. Long may he flourish."
"The century's finest essayist."
Collection of gore vidal essays | Motorcycle Trailer
Gore Vidal is the author, most recently, of the novel The Golden Age, the concluding book in his seven-volume series of narratives of American empire. United States is being reissued simultaneously in trade paperback by Broadway Books. Vidal divides his time between Ravello, Italy, and Los Angeles.
Gore Vidal came from a generation of novelists whose fiction gave them a political platform. Norman Mailer ran for mayor of New York City; Kurt Vonnegut became an anti-war spokesman. And Vidal was an all-around critic. His novels sometimes infuriated readers with unflattering portraits of American history.
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Gore Vidal Quotes (100 wallpapers) - Quotefancy
Vidal's reputation as a novelist has already begun to fade; indeed, regarding some of his notorious early works, such as "Williwaw" (1946) and "The City and the Pillar" (1948), it has already all but disappeared. Would anyone even remember his early works if Vidal hadn't kept telling us, again and again, in essays, on talk shows and now again in his memoirs, that the New York Times blackballed reviews of his books for daring to use a homosexual theme in "The City and the Pillar"? Vidal seems to believe he can argue them into the critical acceptance he feels they should have received more than half a century ago. But the Times, like most of Vidal's critics, was long ago whipped into submission -- note the recent gushing reviews of "Point to Point Navigation" by Christopher Hitchens and Janet Maslin -- and still no one is rushing to read them. Isn't it time to get over it and let his early books disappear into deserved obscurity?
Vidal - definition of Vidal by The Free Dictionary
"There's no such thing," he tells us for the umpteenth time, "as a famous novelist now ... I use the adjective in the strict sense." By "strict sense," he must mean novelists who were famous for just writing novels, like in the old days when William Faulkner was so famous that all his books were out of print in the U.S. when he won the Nobel Prize. There are, after all, still novelists who pursue fame and achieve best-dom as talk show guests while pretending to loathe star-making machinery. From his many appearances on the Johnny Carson and Dick Cavett shows to his guest shots on "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In" and "Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman," and even his legendary live blowout with William F. Buckley during the 1968 Democratic Convention, no writer has made more astute use of television. By the 1980s, Vidal's name had become so associated with TV that in Martin Scorsese's "The King of Comedy," he was the featured guest on "The Jerry Langford Show" the night Robert De Niro's Rupert Pupkin takes it over.
Vidal (viːˈdæl) n (Biography) Gore
Born in 1925, Gore Vidal had a privileged background. His father was an All-American quarterback, an Olympic athlete, an instructor at West Point, and co-founder of three airline companies. His mother was a socialite and Broadway actress, and the daughter of a U.S. senator.
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