Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Gore Vidal (1925-2012)

By Richard K. Barry

(Ed. note: It's not that I didn't respect and admire Gore Vidal, but let's just say he wasn't without his blemishes. Like, for example: "
Gore Vidal, a despicable old fool, defends Roman Polanski, a rapist." Not his finest moment. -- MJWS)

You may have heard that Gore Vidal has died. The New York Times described him as an "all-around man of letters," which is as good a description as any. The obit, which you can find here, is quite good, as is the lengthy treatment at The Guardian, here.

A line that appears in both pieces, which I found hilarious, was a reply Vidal gave to a question about who he was. His response: "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."

The Atlantic helpfully posted a video of Gore Vidal and William F. Buckley in 1969 on, I think, The Dick Cavett Show. The clip is introduced like this: "Next time someone complains about the lack of civility in today's politics, play this clip of the two late authors nearly coming to blows."

(Cross-posted at Lippmann's Ghost.)

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