The many loathes of Gore Vidal

The bad news out of the way first: With the Labor Day weekend upon us, I’m taking the opportunity to take a four-day weekend, just like my children are taking from school. The Reader’s Almanac portion of this site will return on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

This post was originally titled “The Many Loathes of Gore Vidal,” but as I researched the feud with Buckley, I realized a different title had to be found. (Besides, unless you know about this show, you’d probably not get the title’s pun). So, in the spirit of recycling, here it is, with a selection of pithy quotes from Vidal on a number of subjects:

  • “The Winds of War” by Herman Wouk: “This is not at all bad, except as prose.”
  • On Nixon: “It is quite extraordinary! He will even tell a lie when it is not convenient to. That is the sign of a great artist.”
  • On Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman: “Miss Georgia and Mr. Shaker Heights.”
  • Teddy Kennedy: “He would have made a very good bartender.”
  • On writers: “Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players, and Tennessee Williams has about 5, and Samuel Beckett one – and maybe a clone of that one. I have 10 or so, and that’s a lot.”
  • On Robert F. Kennedy: “Between Bobby’s primitive religion and his family’s ardent struggle ever upward from Irish bog, he was more than usually skewed, not least by his own homosexual impulses, which, [Rudolf] Nureyev once told me, were very much in the air on at least one occasion, when they were together.”
  • On Truman Capote: “It is inhumane to attack Capote. You are attacking an elf.”

Anyway, I hope y’all have a fine, fine last taste of summer. I’ll be at work, and when I’m not, getting a few items checked off the “honeydo” list.