Gore Vidal, 1925-2012

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35 Responses to “Gore Vidal, 1925-2012”

  1. SaumyaShrivastava says:

    RIP Gore Vidal. He was among the very last of a special race of American thinkers.
    Here is one of his best remarks!
    Gore Vidal verbally thrashing Stephen Sackur of the BBC’s HARDtalk, Exposing his ignorance and skewering those who deserve it, as usual. The full interview is well worth watching, and should be for context.
    http://liveoncampus.com/wire/show/3390874

    • Ladyfingers says:

      Thrashing isn’t really the word. HARDtalk is a devil’s advocate sort of show, and either has morons on the back foot, or gives the clever a good podium to rant.

  2. Clemoh says:

    I should hope to live to see the day I might use the slur ‘cryptonazi’ in such an appropriate context.

  3. headcode says:

    Anybody that can get William Buckley to lose that smugness is OK by me.

    • Quiche de Resistance says:

      William Buckley was a smug lying piece of shit.  Though I do love his quick witted answer here:

      A young man, “voice breaking with emotion” asks, “Mr. Buckley …. have you ever gone hungry?”

      Buckley responded “Why, yes, my yacht experienced an unfortunate shortage of stuffed goose recently between Nassau and the Bahamas.”

  4. polnareff says:

    RIP Mr. Vidal. You were one of a kind.

  5. Itsumishi says:

    I first read Myron when I was about 15. Despite starting with the sequel, the book blew my mind. Not only did the plot make Alice in Wonderland read like a routine trip to the local supermarket, the clever use of replacing ‘dirty words’ with names of pornography censorship campaigners was an act of whizzer white burgering genius.

  6. Preston Sturges says:

    One of my friends recently said that in the first issue of Playboy he ever saw 30 years ago was an interview with Gore Vidal, and he opens a recent issue and there was Gore Vidal again.

    • Kimmo says:

      He first came to my attention as a young lad perusing my old man’s Playboys; I’m afraid the imminent death of printed porn will take a lot of journalism with it… such mags seem to have been quite the haven for good writing: I seem to recall a lot of great stuff in Penthouse and Hustler as well.

  7. rattypilgrim says:

    Mr.Vidal said things most Americans (and it seems British tv hosts) don’t want to hear, but he spoke the truth.

  8. rattypilgrim says:

    Buckley growling, “I’ll sock your face in” is priceless, the twit. And for all those who look at Buckley as the Golden Age of the GOP, it was just as disgusting then as it is now, but their grasp of the language was better .

    • Cowicide says:

      Yes, there was a time when conservatives were at least coherent to some degree.

      • Boundegar says:

         He was the best the right has ever had to offer.  Calling him dirtbag is absolutely wrong.  Crypto-Nazi is fair, but not dirtbag. 

        • fuzzyfuzzyfungus says:

          Let’s see, he supported Mcarthyism, Francisco Franco, and Augusto Pinochet, and he isn’t a dirtbag?

          Support for virulently nasty (so long as they are anti-communist) fascists isn’t exactly atypical in American circles; but that hardly makes it any less tasteless. 

  9. SedanChair says:

    Ah, Gore Vidal. You were as much of a heavyweight as Bill Buckley was a lightweight.

  10. jhertzli says:

    We must not forget Mr. Vidal’s  running battle with Ernestine the Operator.

  11. semiotix says:

    Or that he committed and nearly got away with murder in a dystopian, genetically obsessed near-future.

    Or that he’s probably kissed more boys than Lisa Simpson.

    (Say, he was pretty good at making himself the object of pop-culture references, wasn’t he? Not bad for an intellectual!)

  12. ImmutableMichael says:

    “I knew there was an inner ring! I bet they make jokes about the Atkins diet and do prank calls to Gore Vidal in Esperanto”. Via Peep Show.

    Vale GV. Time to re-read Myra Breckingridge.

  13. Pope Ratzo says:

    Aw, man.  I was a little boy when I sat next to my dad and watched Vidal and Buckley debate, during the Democratic Convention in my town.

    It was one of the first times I realized how cool it was to be smart.  But even then I could tell that William Buckley was an asshat and that Gore Vidal was a bad ass.  Plus I thought having the first name “Gore” was totally great.

  14. rastronomicals says:

    William Buckley a dirtbag?  I think not.

    • David Howe says:

       He supported the Vietnam War, forced tatooing of homosexuals with HIV, apartheid, McCarthy, Franco, Pinochet.  “Dirtbag” is a little juvenile I agree, but “crypto-Nazi” is clearly spot-on.

  15. Teller says:

    Intellectually, few of us could carry Mr Buckley’s dirt or bag. Nor Mr Vidal’s for that matter. Indeed!

  16. Just been listening to some past interviews of Gore Vidal. He was sharp and engaging, drawing plenty of parallels between foreign policy mistakes of the past and now. A great thinker. RIP.

  17. Just been listening to some old radio interviews of Gore Vidal. He was sharp, eloquent and one of the world’s great liberal thinkers. RIP.

  18. Wow, that clip of the Dick Cavett show is amazing too… Norman Mailer was a giant douche too.

  19. Nagurski says:

    I haven’t read nearly enough, but some of his historical fiction is stunning.  ‘Creation,’ narrated by a 5th century Persian diplomat, is impossible to put down. ‘Burr’ is a fantastically great chronicle of that period of American political culture.

    • DevinC says:

      +1 for Creation.  It’s not as politically relevant as The City And The Pillar or Myra Breckenridge were, but it is a masterpiece.  It’s long, but it’s one of those books you wish was longer.  His whole American political family series is good, too.  

  20. Conan Librarian says:

    A great mind, a great guy. You will be missed, may your journey to Valhalla be swift, and may your star shine just as bright. 

  21. Melva Keyla says:

    Gore Vidal was one in all my idols growing up.  It seemed like he could do something, and do it with therefore much style.  I counted nowadays and I actually have read thirteen of his books.  I loved all of his American chronicles and also the two plays (“The Best Man” and “Visit to a Small Planet” — made into a movie, with of all folks, Jerry Lewis) and “City & Pillar” and “Myra Breckinridge” and “Julian,” but I’d say my favorite novel is “Washington, D.C.,” which has some superb set items I can still keep in mind over forty years later, like this one, which I started to describe however then I remembered Gloria Steinem once noticed it too:

  22. Kimmo says:

    Vale Vidal.

    May America find a replacement for your searing brilliance.

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