Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal

The "bitch" is dead.

Before Christopher Hitchens there was Gore Vidal.  He loved to fight and rile conservatives - a trait which, if there was anything likable about him, I appreciated and found rather entertaining. 

Though he had the reputation of being 'gay' he insisted he wasn't.  He hated such labels and limitations and tended more towards the notion of sexual fluidity.  A longstanding feud with William F. Buckley originated from a Buckley insult calling Vidal 'a queer' - that in retaliation to Vidal's fingering Buckley as a 'crypto-Nazi'.  Intellectual bitch fights.  Vidal battled Capote and Norman Mailer in much the same way.

He himself boasted there was no love in his heart:  “I’m exactly as I appear. There is no warm, lovable person inside. Beneath my cold exterior, once you break the ice, you find cold water.”  At least he was honest, although there must have been more warmth than he let on - he had cats and dogs.

All in all, he was a brilliant man.  Fortunately for him, he appeared to have found solace in a deep friendship with his companion, Howard Austen - once noting, 'the secret of their relationship was that they had never slept together.'

In every one there is good, perhaps in that first step into eternity, encountering such mystery, he was able to let himself be loved. 


  1. Replies
    1. You should watch some of his interviews on youtube - especially from Cavett if you've never done so - he was fantastic. Quite a guy!

  2. I was wondering who he was, thanks for the info!

    1. I know - he's way before my time too. Haha!

  3. Lovely post, Terry.

  4. I used to love to listen to Bill Buckley and Gore Vidal too. They don't make them like that anymore too sad.

  5. He was a really great historical novelist, writing on American and Roman history. A great way to enjoy learning stuff.


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