Gore Vidal Escapes From Home, Appears on BBC

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The BBC has a deep fondness for Gore Vidal, the Castro-loving octogenarian crackpot who, I am told, once wrote a few decent novels. I once appeared on a BBC World Service program with Vidal, who muttered some scripted provocations about pederasty; stuff that would have likely shocked a radio audience in the 1950s, though a routine that hadn't aged particularly well. Listeners were supposed to be shocked and impressed by this bit of theater; a rude, semi-coherent old coot says dirty things, making the Bill Grundy-like host uncomfortable.

And yet again, it appears that one of his attendants left the gate unlocked, and Vidal wondered into a BBC satellite studio to offer his analysis of the presidential election. Mercifully, the host cuts him off and, one imagines, calls the LAPD:

NEXT: Obama and the Surge

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  1. Dammit! I’m on campus right now and can’t get audio!

  2. It’s so sad to see a great mind drift off into senility. There definitely was not coherence enough to Vidal’s musings to be worthy of such an important author.

  3. Art-P.O.G.,

    (cough) Naomi Klein. (cough)

  4. Maybe they should use an invisible fence?

  5. Naga,

    Did Klein ever make sense?

  6. End the cuban embargo and quit bashing Gore Vidal as if you were sean Hannities raging neo-con cousin with call options on General Dynamics.

    Yes we know Fidel was a tyrant…it is still no excuse for isolationist trade policies and it is no excuse for falsely claiming principled, real free traders like ron paul are isolationist.

  7. Naga: Naomi Klein is neither a great mind nor an important author.

    Art-POG: That was the correct response to Alan Greenspan’s musings the other week.

  8. Art-P.O.G.,

    My point was that he was overrated to begin with. Sorry but I’ve read his earlier work and was puzzled that others thought it was so . . . divine.

  9. Oh, OK, Naga. Now I’m going to admit something. I’ve never, ever read Gore Vidal. I saw that his books were really long, which led me to… Assumption 1: He was once capable of putting several coherent thoughts together. Assumption 2: He must be an important author ’cause dammit a lot of critics and journalists have said so.

  10. Art-P.O.G.,

    LOL. As I just posted on another thread, I like to be subtle with my snarks. You were smarter than me about Vidal. He writes like Joyce. UN-FUCKING-READABLE.

  11. Yeah, that was an especially silly moment of television. Vidal’s style carried on from his past days of glory, as if by inertia, but his grasp of this time, this place proved to lag behind, leaving his quick wit with nothing but the ephemeral to snipe at.

    The attempt by one of the interviewer’s guests to shore up good feeling and reputation of his interlocutor was more idiotic that Vidal’s rude barb, though.

    And, by the way, Vidal did write a few wonderful novels. These books struck me as magnificent:

    ? The City and the Pillar
    ? The Judgment of Paris
    ? Burr
    ? 1876

    and I consider these three books his tragic trilogy of religion:

    ? Creation
    ? Julian
    ? Messiah

    with the goofy science fiction novel “Live from Golgotha” as capstone satyr play.

  12. *yawns at the memory of reading “Burr”*

  13. Naga,

    That’s some good snark.

  14. Art-P.O.G.,

    I do what I can.

    *brushes shoulder*

  15. “once wrote a few decent novels.”

    And Moynihan’s lasting legacy will be…?

    Those who can’t, mock.

  16. Not to threadjack, but there are only a handful of novelists who ever melted my face. I really like Vonnegut, Chesterton and Dostoevsky. Achebe and Pearl S. Buck also linger with me. I need to get cracking on some PKD. I read Gravity’s Rainbow but I’m still not sure whether it was worth it. William S. Burroughs is a great mind, but I’m certain that Naked Lunch is almost entirely unreadable.

  17. Art-P.O.G.,

    It’s not threadjacking if no one is posting anything relevant to begin with. Stick with Verner Vinge and nothing else. NOTHING else!!!

  18. And Moynihan’s lasting legacy will be…?

    What, have you been sleeping this whole time? Moynihan’s legacy is war cheerleading.

  19. Dostoveyesky, Chesterton, and Vidal are all amazing storytellers. I’d throw Steinbeck in the same category.

    All four of these men wrote amazing stories that will be reprinted for our grandchildren’s consumption on the recycled paper salvaged from long-forgotten Dave Eggers and Naomi Klein books.

    The cream tends to rise to the top.

  20. And yet, even in his declining years, Gore Vidal was smart enough to oppose the Iraq war.

  21. Chesterton has to be the all-time most ignored great writer. Outside of this blog and an occasional class, I’ve had to explain who Chesterton is each and every time I’ve mentioned him.

    Even most Christians forget who he is (the first serious apologist of the modern age), preferring instead the more pedestrian (but still intriguing) musings of C. S. Lewis.

  22. OK, Vernor Vinge is going on my short list.

  23. “We can’t bust heads like we used to, but we have our ways. One trick is to tell ’em stories that don’t go anywhere-like the time I caught the ferry over to Shelbyville. I needed a new heel for my shoe, so, I decided to go to Morganville, which is what they called Shelbyville in those days. So I tied an onion to my belt, which was the style at the time. Now, to take the ferry cost a nickel, and in those days, nickels had pictures of bumblebees on ’em. ‘Give me five bees for a quarter,’ you’d say.

    “Now where were we? Oh yeah-the important thing was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time. They didn’t have white onions because of the war. The only thing you could get was those big yellow ones…”

  24. Vidal always seemed to be one of those celebrities who was commonly known to be a “brillian genius” of some sort, but nobody ever seems to what for, exactly.

    An embarrasing appearance.

  25. daveed, that sort of thing was what I considered the strength/weakness of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Very, very cerebral book, and funny as well, but didn’t go anywhere.

  26. gabe | November 5, 2008, 6:38pm | #

    End the cuban embargo and quit bashing Gore Vidal as if you were sean Hannities raging neo-con cousin with call options on General Dynamics.

    Yes we know Fidel was a tyrant…it is still no excuse for isolationist trade policies and it is no excuse for falsely claiming principled, real free traders like ron paul are isolationist.

    oh come the fuck on already.

    making fun of the senile drivel of an old writer doesnt have anything to do with fucking ron paul. Not everything is perfectly political for gods sake.

    “ah, i hinted at that i hinted at that and did not think you would take it as a statement of Reality!?”

    I mean really

  27. Art-P.O.G. | November 5, 2008, 7:58pm | #

    daveed, that sort of thing was what I considered the strength/weakness of Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow. Very, very cerebral book, and funny as well, but didn’t go anywhere.

    “Crying of Lot 49” and “V” are better. also shorter. Never read Mason Dixon.

  28. Julian and Creation are both excellent novels.

    Vidal may have lost it, but he’s always been a loon.

  29. Vidal was also a very fine essayist. Since he’s apparently lost it, I assume he isn’t anymore. I’m fond of his comic novel Duluth and Creation is one of my favorite novels. Some of the others I’ve tried were unreadable.

  30. Art-P.O.G. | November 5, 2008, 7:08pm | #

    Not to threadjack, but there are only a handful of novelists who ever melted my face. I really like Vonnegut, Chesterton and Dostoevsky. Achebe and Pearl S. Buck also linger with me. I need to get cracking on some PKD. I read Gravity’s Rainbow but I’m still not sure whether it was worth it. William S. Burroughs is a great mind, but I’m certain that Naked Lunch is almost entirely unreadable.

    Sorry, book talk!

    you may have already read it, but O’Toole’s Confederacy of Dunces is probably up your alley., or Master & Margarita by Bulgakov. Also in that vein, Civilwarland in Bad Decline by George Saunders. All funny and smart.

    Burroughs is readable but its certainly nothing like regular reading. Naked Lunch is stock footage compared to his cut-ups and his all-out weirdness scifi gay pirate alien-fucking heroin addict stuff like Cities of the Red Night. He’s more like Celine or Rambaud or Genet

  31. Below is example of stuff in Burrough’s “cities”

    probably not appropriate at all, but hey, what the hell.

    =====================================
    In the thinly populated desert area north of Tamaghis a portentous event occurred. Some say it was a meteor that fell to earth leaving a crater twenty miles across. Others say that the crater was caused by what modern physicists call a black hole.

    After this occurrence the whole northern sky lit up red at night, like the reflection from a vast furnace. Those in the immediate vicinity of the crater were the first to be affected and various mutations were observed, the commonest being altered hair and skin color. Red and yellow hair, and white, yellow, and red skin appeared for the first time. Slowly the whole area was similarly affected until the mutants outnumbered the original inhabitants, who were as all human beings were at the time: black.

    The women, led by an albino mutant known as the White Tigress, seized Yass-Waddah, reducing the male inhabitants to salves, consorts, and courtiers all under sentence of death that could be carried out at any time at the caprice of the White Tigress. The Council in Waghdas countered by developing a method of growing babies in excised wombs, the wombs being supplied by vagrant Womb Snatchers, This practice aggravated the differences between the male and female factions and war with Yass-Waddah seemed unavoidable.

    In Naufana, a method was found to transfer the spirit directly into an adolescent Receptacle, thus averting the awkward and vulnerable period of infancy. This practice required a rigorous period of preparation and training to achieve a harmonious blending of the two spirits in one body. These Transmigrants, combining the freshness and vitality of youth with the wisdom of many lifetimes, were expected to form an army of liberation to free Wass-Waddah. And there were adepts who could die at will without nay need of drugs or executioners and project their spirit into a chosen Receptacle.

    I have mentioned hanging, strangulation, and orgasm drugs as the commonest means of effecting the transfer. However, many other forms of death were employed. The Fire Boys were burned to death in the presence of the Receptacles, only the genitals being insulated, so that the practitioner could achieve orgasm in the moment of death. There is an interesting account by a Fire Boy who recalled his experience after transmigrating in this manner:

    “As the flames closed around my body, I inhaled deeply, drawing fire into my lungs, and screamed out flames as the most horrible pain turned to the most exquisite pleasure and I was ejaculating in an adolescent Receptacle who was being sodomized by another.”

    Others were stabbed, decapitated disemboweled shot with arrows, or killed by a blow on the head. Some threw themselves from cliffs, landing in front of the copulating Receptacles.

    The scientists at Waghdas were developing a machine that could directly transfer the electromagnetic field of one body to another. In Ghadis there were adepts who were able to leave their bodies before death and occupy a series of hosts. How far this research may have gone will never be known. It was a time of great disorder and chaos.

    The effects of the Red Night on Receptacles and Transmigrants proved to be incalculable and many strange mutants arose as a series of plagues devastated the cities. It is this period of war and pestilence that is covered by the books. The Council had set out to produce a race of supermen for the exploration of space. They produced instead races of ravening idiot vampires.

    Finally, the cities were abandoned and the survivors fled in all direction, carrying the plagues with them. Some of these migrants crossed the Bering Strait into the New World, taking the books with them. They settled in the area later occupied by the Mayans and the books eventually fell into the hands of the Mayan priests.

    The alert student of this noble experiment will perceive that death was regarded as equivalent not to birth but to conception and go in to infer that conception is the basic trauma. In the moment of death, the dying man’s whole life may flash in front of his eyes back to conception. In the moment of conception, his future life flashes forward to his future death. To reexperience conception is fatal

  32. Never read Mason Dixon.

    Wait…is this an admission or a warning?*

    *Mason Dixon looks like it would take me 2-3 whole months to read anyway.

  33. That Burroughs excerpt was brilliant and I concede that, somehow, Naked Lunch would be better read as poetry (or maybe Peter Weller movie) than prose.

  34. I don’t think they’ll invite John Bolton over again either: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiPuqvO6qT8

  35. Burr and Messiah are both great, and there’s at least a half-dozen more Vidal novels that are way above average. (As PL says, Julian and Creation are among them.) I also recommend his memoir Palimpsest, especially to people who like to read embarrassing stories about the Kennedys.

    Vidal is also one of the most libertarian voices on the left. He’s antiwar, decentralist, excellent on civil liberties (including the un-PC ones), and sometimes even decent on economics: He is very anti-IRS (he has called for a 5% flat tax), has mocked mainstream environmentalism as “the Great God Green,” and has written sympathetically about Middle American resentment of federal regulations. His output in the current century hasn’t been very impressive — his essays on Al Qaeda have veered close to Truther territory, though they’re also so vague that it’s not completely clear what he was getting at — but he was a sharp voice in his day.

  36. I’ve had Against the Day sitting on my shelf since last Christmas and can’t make myself start it. Anyone have an opinion on it? I liked Gravity’s Rainbow when I read it as a teenager, but don’t remember it very well.

  37. Re: Burroughs: If you’ve never read him before, the easiest way to take a first taste is with one of the CDs of him reading his work. His best album is probably Dead City Radio, so start there.

    As far as his books go, my favorite is The Place of Dead Roads, sort of a gay science-fiction western. And yes, Naked Lunch is great. It isn’t a linear narrative, so if it doesn’t draw you in right away you should feel free to jump around.

    Politically speaking, Burroughs was basically an Old Right quasi-libertarian. In the ’40s, his favorite political writer was Westbrook Pegler; in the ’70s he gave an interview in which he said the space program was “just about the only expense I don’t begrudge the government” (or words to that effect). In one of those collections of Beat correspondence, there’s a letter from Allen Ginsburg complaining about Burroughs’ lack of enthusiasm for left-liberal politics. If I remember the details correctly, Ginsburg tried to get Burroughs aboard some Democratic campaign, and Burroughs replied with what Ginsburg described as a “WC Fields routine.”

  38. Never read his novels (which I hear are good). But his political stuff seems a fairly schizophrenic blend of far left and libertarianism with a sprinkle of conspiracy theory.

    I seem to remember in Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace a central theme being his belief that the Oklahoma City Bombing was ultimately a reaction against the death of the small family farm in America. Then Vidal tells of his admiration for FDR and his New Deal farm policies. Yet, the main source for that portion of Vidal’s book was Jim Bovard’s Lost Rights who had ultimately made the case that FDR’s farm policy is the reason for the death of the family farm.

    Strange, but it had its moments. He’s better than Chomsky at least.

  39. I have become infatuated with Terry Pratchett of late.

  40. Art-P.O.G. | November 5, 2008, 8:22pm | #

    “Never read Mason Dixon.”
    Wait…is this an admission or a warning?*

    *Mason Dixon looks like it would take me 2-3 whole months to read anyway.

    No, i meant “read” like “i done never red that one”. Past tense, not imperative. but i see your point. I should be more careful.

  41. I have become infatuated with Terry Pratchett of late.

    I liked Good Omens and I’ve heard good things about the Discworld books.

    Past tense, not imperative. but i see your point. I should be more careful.

    After thinking about it, I figured right. I was going to launch into a bizarre rant about irregular verbs/tense, but decided against it.

  42. p.s.

    Jesse Walker | November 5, 2008, 8:40pm | #

    Re: Burroughs: If you’ve never read him before, the easiest way to take a first taste is with one of the CDs of him reading his work

    This is so true.

    He has a lot of readings on record, my favorite being the Dead City Radio album done by Donald Fagen. If you’ve digested his voice and his style of laconic dark humor, its much easier to read his stuff and “hear” the jokes in his denser, weird prose.

  43. whoops.

    Should have read more than the first sentence of Jesse’s post i think. sorry for the ditto

  44. I’ve never read a Gore Vidal book, but I liked him in Gattaca. It’s a shame he’s become such an incoherent nutter.

  45. I’ve heard good things about the Discworld books.

    I bought the first 25 of the 35 or so in that collection. I am up to number 11 or so. I cannot fathom where his ideas come from. The best books are sublime, the worst are still quite amusing.

  46. He really doesn’t get rolling until the 3rd or 4th book in the collection.

  47. “once wrote a few decent novels.”

    And Moynihan’s lasting legacy will be…?

    Those who can’t, mock.

    He got banned from North Korea.

    or am i thinking of someone else?

  48. Beezard | November 5, 2008, 8:45pm | #

    Never read his novels (which I hear are good). But his political stuff seems a fairly schizophrenic blend of far left and libertarianism with a sprinkle of conspiracy theory.

    his politics are part of Burroughs deep sense of humor. His politics are pointedly extremist and self-empowering as a play on his disgust for the prosaic politics of common consensus producing erosions on personal liberties. He also was convinced so many people were “shits” that the best form of Law was having a decent firearm on your person at all times.

    see, “Johnsons vs. Shits”

    e.g. “Most of the trouble in this world has been caused by folks who can’t mind their own business, because they have no business of their own to mind, any more than a smallpox virus has. “

  49. I forgot to mention that A Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy melted my face. The humor in that book is top-notch.

    or am i thinking of someone else?

    Trey Parker and Matt Stone?

  50. This smacks of libertarian lashing out at easy targets. Meanwhile the state grows and grows…

  51. while i’m sure commenters here are all weird in some way or other, lefiti strikes me as especially strange. why does he come here? he came here to tell us of the rhythms of the universe what kind of life is it when trolling libertarian boards to accuse them of ineffectiveness clearly takes up a large part of your day..?

    has no one read against the day? i just want to know if it’s worth the month(s) it would take to read.

  52. Lefiti | November 5, 2008, 9:13pm | #

    This smacks of libertarian lashing out at easy targets.

    How about you go ride a no-seat pogo stick?

    Hows that for lashing out at easy targets?

    Fucking mary on christmas tree, lefties are such humorless boobs. You seriously throw your personal credit out the window with this kind of patronizing bullshit. Not that you had any to start, but still… when will you realize that *most shit here is not a bunch of libertoids ranting party line stuff*, but rather a diverse group of people with some overlapping interests. Just because Vidal sounds like a goober doesnt make this a political event. Its people laughing at someone being a goober. I think the more important point is that *we dont care very much*. You and others who keep citing the “fundamentalist libertarian nature of this board” etc, are the ones who keep resorting to some narrative of political orientation. You calling people here ‘fundies’ only hoists you as one yourself. Give it a rest

  53. GILMORE, I wouldn’t lump any lefties in with Lefiti. Much like LoneWacko, he is, to quote Hunter S. Thompson, “One of God’s own prototypes. Some kind of high powered mutant never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.”

  54. ART

    from what i’ve seen of him, he only seems to pop up to accuse the threads of being full of politically naive fundies. Sure there are some, but they are few. its a boring schtick overall.

    i consider him on a different tier obviously than the LoneJerkoff

    more like the ron paulites who scream ‘heresy!’ all the time over silly shit for not being MORE fundie like them

  55. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  56. Is this what Chuck Palahniuk will be like when he is Gore Vidal’s age now? No, Palahniuk is a more intellectual author.

  57. No south park thread?

  58. Has Gore Vidal ever shown up on South Park? If not I would love to see an episode with BOTH Gore Vidal and Chuck Palahniuk.

  59. Heh, comedy gold, thanks for sharing.

  60. Q: What do you think of the conspiracy theories about September 11?

    Vidal: I’m willing to believe practically any mischief on the part of the Bush people. No, I don’t think they did it, as some conspiracy people think. Why? Because it was too intelligently done. This is beyond the competence of Bush and Cheney and Rumsfeld. They couldn’t pull off a caper like 9/11. They are too clumsy.

  61. Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels will melt your face. He is among the best satirists of all time, ever, and each book he writes is better than the last. This is not an opinion. This is fact. Neil Gaiman’s novels are also wonderful but not quite so face melting – extremely original, but no “oh my God who put that man’s brain together and can I please have one just like it” original.

    And I love Chesterton. It’s interesting, when you’re reading a dead guy (or chick) whom you admire and whose work really speaks to you, when you run across something by them and you think – well, sheeit, you sure got that one wrong, didn’t you? It’s comforting, I guess, because even the most brilliant, the most humane or incisive or perceptive or original of thinkers have their own blind spots. And so Chesterton could write a thoughtful, reasonable, completely fucking stupid essay opposed to female suffrage based on the proposition that we’re just too darned good and pure to sully ourselves in politics. It’s like finding out that Lincoln wasn’t all that racially enlightened, even by the standards of his day. Brilliant guys, but just human.

  62. Pynchon: Crying of Lot 49 was engrossing. The others have their moments, but in every one – or at least, in Rainbow and in V, the only other ones I read – the first 10,000 pages or so are really entertaining and trippy and impressively inventive, and then you get to a point where you say, “ok, now you’re just jacking off, and I’m tired of watching” and you go off to read something with a plot and some characters, and that’s why so few people ever finish a Pynchon book.

    And while I remember lots of lines from Pratchett books, there’s one that stands out because when I read it, I instantly thought of Hilary Clinton, and I’ve never forgotten it. Concerning a female character he wrote, “She was content to let self-esteem do the work of self-respect.”

  63. Well, stubby the real problem with women voting (Standard Disclaimer: This does not apply to all women, it simply describes a tendency in populations overall) is that women are more likely than men to be busybodies who think that the government should be in everyone’s business. That whole purity argument was just something to distract chicks.

  64. like in the life and times of judge roy bean, it was them whores paul newman had married off to his deputies that started the trouble when the railroad came through about how they shouldn’t be hanging people in public and they’re the ones that got gass voted mayor and that Killed The Wild West

  65. Eh. I know you’re being facetious, but there’s some truth to that. Women do seem to be disproportionally inclined to nanny statism, don’t they? I can’t tell you how often some woman will assume I support or oppose a particular policy because I’m a mother. I hear “but you’re a mother!!!” almost as often as I hear “think of the children!!”

  66. Actually, stubby, my statement (disclaimer included, of course) was mostly serious, except at the very end.

  67. In the thinly populated desert area north of Tamaghis a portentous event occurred. Some say it was a meteor that fell to earth leaving a crater twenty miles across. Others say that the crater was caused by what modern physicists call a black hole.

    Good stuff. In style, this reminds me of Van Vogt’s work from the 50’s. Very jaunty, with ideas and plot line revealed in little gems of
    dead pan delivery.

  68. The worst part about this is that some day I’ll escape from home. The diff is that you won’t find me on BBC. Ill be pissing in some alley while begging for a hit of Night Train from some homeless guy.

    That ain’t right.

  69. Well, stubby the real problem with women voting (Standard Disclaimer: This does not apply to all women, it simply describes a tendency in populations overall) is that women are more likely than men to be busybodies who think that the government should be in everyone’s business.

    It’s not our fault. We get bored of baking cookies, wiping grampa’s ass, and spanking the children. We have to entertain ourselves somehow, and political drama is almost as good as gossiping and ostracizing our neighbors.

    Now if you let us fight in combat, we might have something else to expend all that hostility on.

  70. BTW, is has been reported that Michael Crichton has died.

  71. Don’t you mean “wandered into a BBC satellite studio” not “wondered”?

    I wonder where you learned English?

    -Gore

  72. Now if you let us fight in combat, we might have something else to expend all that hostility on.

    Every species where the female lead the fighting has gone extinct. Not because the female is a worse fighter, oh no, the female is so much more vicious, vindictive and vengeful than the male of the species that every fight quickly escalates to apocalyptic proportions.

  73. Hazel Meade | November 6, 2008, 1:27am | #

    Now if you let us fight in combat, we might have something else to expend all that hostility

    Congrats

    http://www.pbs.org/independentlens/lioness/

  74. Lincoln, Burr, Creation and Myra Breckinridge are all excellent. Dismissing Vidal’s novels as hackwork because his political opinions suck is totalitarian thinking.

  75. You were smarter than me about Vidal. He writes like Joyce. UN-FUCKING-READABLE.

    Excellent point. Also, Slayer sounds just like Gram Parsons.

  76. “Excellent point. Also, Slayer sounds just like Gram Parsons.”

    HA!

    seriously, joyce is fucking amazing. finnegan’s wake is conventionally unreadable in the sense that you can’t tom clancy it, but it’s still deeply poetic for a blind guy who was dying inside and out.

    “As far as his books go, my favorite is The Place of Dead Roads, sort of a gay science-fiction western.”

    indeed, the cities of the red night trilogy is incredibly sad and moving, and a fitting coda to a career that had a lot of weird bumps and a life that was a string of horrendous tragedies, broken hearts and near misses.

    naked lunch, btw, is totally readable – it’s episodic. so long as you don’t expect to follow from point a to point b to point c, you’ll be fine, because it’s more like a fever dream (that was somewhat randomized) than a conventional narrative.

    it’s also incredibly funny in parts:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=Vg-ns2orYBMC&pg=RA1-PA149&lpg=RA1-PA149&dq=calls+the+counterman+at+nedick%27s+by+his+first+name&source=web&ots=BIVU2JZTLh&sig=CTKTsTr8hpqguCqvn-WSosG3_-8&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_result&resnum=1&ct=result

  77. burroughs, btw, was misogynistic in much of his writing in a way that chesterton could only dream of. cartoonish does not begin to encompass it.

    on the other hand salt chunk mary is one of the few reliable characters in his entire universe. on the other, other hand, she’s adapted from earlier true crime potboilers that he read as a child.

  78. Gore Vidal wrote a few books?

    One might consider him America’s biographer.

    I have all his fiction, which isn’t poetic, he wasn’t a gifted like that, but no can equal his essays on America.

    One of the first essayists to adroitly highlight the lack of difference between both prominant parties in the states.

    His political essays are the most straight forward, readable, eloquently written….consecutively, by someone that has met most of the power players, on several continents.

    Say what you will, he’s been there.

    But yes, that night on the beeb was sad, for me, loss of faculties…fine mind, going…finally…

    Personne….
    bay/paris

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