A great man to me, Gore Vidal, died today and I am sad. I am sad as I always am when genius dies no matter how old. He was 86, a curmudgeon and, for many, not their cup of tea but he was mine. He was because his critical analysis of culture and his mantra of question everything is my motto. He was a man of towering brillance, a man of letters to whom few, in our age, can compare.
His works are many, varied and legendary. A few of his famous writings include: Williwaw, The City and the Pillar, Julian, Myra Breckinridge, Washington DC, Burr, Myron, Lincoln, Empire, The Best Man, An Evening with Richard Nixon, The American Presidency, Perpetual War For Perpetual Peace, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta; Screenplays: I Accuse, Ben Hur, Suddenly, Last Summer, The Best Man, Is Paris Burning?, Caligula to name a few.
Vidal suffered fools badly. He had little patience for the brutality of nations and especially for the stupidity of the men who run them. He was born into American royalty and he knew the best and the brightest because he was among them. He was liberal in politics waxing more left and cynical as he aged and so he eschewed many politicos, the rich and the famous who hit our TV and silver screen. He was adversarial to many including a life-long estrangement from the late William F. Buckley, the conservative icon. I viewed the actual 1960's debate that forever finished their conversation. Vidal called Buckley a "crypto Nazi." He possibly was extreme in his appellation of Buckley as such but I, then, secretly agreed!
Three men have died recently whom I held on my too-big-to-fail intellectual giants’ pedestal. Some think my folly is that I raise some humans to god-like status. Maybe I do only because I cannot match their intelligence, wit and accomplishments. I miss Howard Zinn, I miss Christopher Hitchens and now I will miss Gore Vidal. I miss all those committed to the development of intellect and rational thought. The pedestal on which I placed them in my psychic scheme was large because they were larger than my life ever was or could be and I will, as long as I live, envy their intelligence and mourn their loss.
I enclose an MSNBC link to his biography here and below. A list of his works can be found at Wiki link below and here.