My heart belongs to the daring, erudite, singular wordsmith, and unflappable master of the turn of phrase with the mysterious noms de plume!
Mr. Vidal's substantial output over the years cemented his place in the literary pantheon of his century and for all the myriad skills he possessed in his tool kit. Being honest, he decimated the median, between this and the last century, with a raging ennui and just the
right measure of "been-there-itis". He, like his contemporaries, bestowed upon us a trove of diamonds which will last an eternity.
I, though I never knew his name until the late nineteen-seventies, for one, am ecstatic that he did!
He is reported to have been bisexual in his lifetime, making him a tremendous part of the "B" in "LGBT". One of his first pieces caused quite the 'stink' for having been, blatantly homosexual in its theme back in the nineteen-forties. Daring? Yes. Impactful? Absolutely! Did it deprive us of his greatest works? Not really, Though it certainly must have cost him dearly by way of acclaim and opportunity in the period.
His legacy and remarkable output are well-documented, substantial and important. There are those that say that Gore Vidal was a man ahead of, and beyond, his time. He is now lamented as the last master, now departed, of opulent, sumptuous, delectable, tether-less writing and exploration.
He possessed a remarkable ability to speak his mind, fearlessly, kicking ass and
taking names, blood types, shoe sizes, and more, in the process. An ex-pat, of sorts, for a time, he died in the land of his birth. He may have just been ready to go.
He strikes me as a kind of man I would have, absolutely, lavished and reveled in, being in his orbit, were I that fortunate. I never was. But I feel pretty okay saying that I don't think I'd mind being a LOT like him, when I grow up!
We are all lucky, you and I, that Mr. Vidal was born, whom, where and into what, he was. It all made him into the man we so admire today.
Not exactly a "blue-blood", to the manor born, he did wallow through Sidwell Friends School, St. Albans Prep., studied abroad in France, and made his way into Phillips Exeter--- a goodly amount of the "right" schools. But I suspect that meant little to him.
"The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return."
"I don't want anything. I don't want a job. I don't want to be respectable. I don't want prizes. I turned down the National Institute of Arts and Letters when I was elected to it in 1976 on the grounds that I already belonged to the Diners Club."
"As I now move, graciously, I hope, toward the door marked Exit, it occurs to me that the only thing I ever really liked to do was go to the movies. Naturally, Sex and Art always took precedence over cinema but neither ever proved to be as dependable as the filtering of present light through that moving strip of celluloid which projects past images and voices onto a screen."
-Gore Vidal, "Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964-2006"
"Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn."
Well, Mr. Vidal, that makes you one of the most stylish people in history! Thank you for leaving something to remind me (and us)! Godspeed and God bless you sir. Thank you for making a way for others to follow. Thank you for staking your place with pride, dignity, intelligence, bravery and grit.
Despite your proximity to Virginia in your formative years, I am wont to believe that you never once, in your entire life, ate. a. grit.
Sleep well Mr. Vidal! You will live forever.