Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal

Eugene Louis "Gore" Vidal (October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer and public intellectual known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing. He was a Democratic Party politician who twice sought elected office; first to the United States House of Representatives (New York State, 1960), then to the U.S. Senate (California, 1982).

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I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.

Fifty percent of people won't vote and fifty percent don't read newspapers. I hope it's the same fifty percent.

Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels, and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself.

Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin.

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically by definition be disqualified from ever doing so.

Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.

There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem.

Television is now so desperately hungry for material that they're scraping the top of the barrel.

All children alarm their parents, if only because you are forever expecting to encounter yourself.

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.

Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies or the virus dies or both die.

In writing and politicking it's best not to think about it just do it.

The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity - much less dissent.

A good deed never goes unpunished.

One is sorry one could not have taken both branches of the road. But we were not allotted multiple selves.

That is sad, until one recalls how many bad books the world may yet be spared because of the busyness of writers.

What other culture could have produced someone like Hemmingway and not seen the joke?

Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an I.Q. of 60.

The greatest pleasure when I started making money was not buying cars or yachts but finding myself able to have as many freshly typed drafts as possible.

The behaviour of President Bush on 11 September certainly gives rise to not unnatural suspicions.

As societies grow decadent the language grows decadent too. Words are used to disguise not to illuminate action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.

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.

That loyal retainer of the Chase Manhattan Bank the American president.

All in all I would not have missed this century for the world.

There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses, if not practices.

Never have children only grandchildren.

The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so.

Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.

Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.

By the time a man gets to be presidential material he's been bought ten times over.

The theater needs continual reminders that there is nothing more debasing than the work of those who do well what is not worth doing at all.

Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies their corporations grabbing Caspian oil.

Style is knowing who you are what you want to say and not giving a damn.

Our form of democracy is bribery on the highest scale.

As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days.

Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost, without issues and with interchangeable candidates.

We're not a democracy.

It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.

We must declare ourselves become known, allow the world to discover this subterranean life of ours which connects kings and farm boys artists and clerks. Let them see that the important thing is not the object of love but the emotion itself.

Today's public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books and there is some evidence that they can't read them either.

What is in question is a kind of book reviewing which seems to be more and more popular: the loose putting down of opinions as though they were facts and the treating of facts as though they were opinions.

The more money an American accumulates the less interesting he becomes.

In America the race goes to the loud the solemn the hustler. If you think you're a great writer you must say that you are.

It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact no matter how suspect is superior to any imaginative exercise no matter how true.

Litigation takes the place of sex at middle age.

On 16 September 1985 when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation the American Empire died.

There's a lot to be said for being nouveau riche and the Reagans mean to say it all.

Write something even if it's just a suicide note.

To a man ornithologists are tall slender and bearded so that they can stand motionless for hours imitating kindly trees as they watch for birds.

I'm all for bringing back the birch but only between consenting adults.

Whenever a friend succeeds a little something in me dies.

Some writers take to drink others take to audiences.

A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.

Until the rise of American advertising it never occurred to anyone anywhere in the world that the teenager was a captive in a hostile world of adults.