This explosively entertaining memoir abounds in gossip, satire, historical apercus , and trenchant observations. Vidal’s compelling narrative. Vidal’s account of his first 39 years includes his reminiscences of a host of prominent Gore Vidal, Author Penguin Books $20 (p) ISBN Aside from being an essayist, novelist and screenwriter, Gore Vidal in his memoir Palimpsest that he was “attracted to adolescent males”.

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He takes certain individuals to task, specifically Truman Capote for filling his life with endless fictions made up to resemble reality, but Vidal can be accused of the same thing. I would never have survived.

My Life with Wagner. He seems egoistic and arrogant. Dec 18, T. But Vidal does kee The worst part about this book is that in it, GV dishes out scandal like the rent is due tomorrow. Finally, in a memoir, there are many rubbings-out and puttings-in or, as I once observed to Dwight Macdonald, who had found me disappointingly conventional on some point, “I have nothing to say, only to add?

The list goes on for a while longer but I will have to be lazy and spare myself the chore of typing it. GV was renowned a Memoir of the American author. Nor, even without a high regard for humanity in general, is there any evidence either of real malice or cringing self-justification, which palimpsdst more than can be said for most of us too.

I like him and palimpseet his skill and intelligence.

We know that the composer was a virulent antisemitewhose work became the mood music of Nazism, but it is generally accepted that performers and audiences have a choice over whether this ideological toxicity invalidates his work: The metaphor of a palimpsest for writing a memoir is an ingenious one, and there are scraps of Gore Vidal’s well-textured parchment that are genuinely fascinating.

He loses a congressional Democrat seat in NY, but it’s only due to Jack Kennedy’s lack of popularity. Threads collapsed expanded glre. Starts with life; makes a text; then a re-vision-literally, a second seeing, an afterthought, erasing some but not all of the original while writing something new over the first layer of text. Myra Breckinridge And Myron. The quality in common was a very finely-tuned ear, as acutely sensitive to the just-audible poetry of mundane words as it was in picking up the false notes of maudlin sentimentality and insincerity.


The Essential Gore Vidal. Of a disastrous visit to Cambridge, provoked by an invitation from E. The most intriguing aspects of the book are his recurring sense of nostalgia for his first love, Jimmie, and the first picture of him with his white cat.

His best known social novel was Myra Breckinridge ; his best known historical novels included Julian, Burr and Lincoln. Jun 21, Molly Black rated vdal it was amazing.

Book Club of the Air: Gore Vidal’s ‘Palimpsest’ : NPR

Or is it so fitting? A particularly fun example is the night he and Jack Keruac shared that was later fictionalized by Keruac.

Nonetheless, the story of GV’s live – literary, political, sexual – will keep you reading. Very good on his early love Jimmie Trimble and his grandfather the Senator. Biography and memoirsAutobiography,,, AmericasNorth AmericaUSA.

Then come schooldays at St Albans and Exeter; the army; life as a literary wunderkind in New York, London, Rome and Paris in the ’40s and ’50s; sex in an age of promiscuity; and a campaign for Congress in I Told You So: I had one major beef.

Written in the sumptuously arch manner familiar to anyone who has seen a Vidal clip on YouTube, the memoir establishes a warm if prickly tone, and treats the reader as an intelligent This memoir covers the first forty years of the Vidal saga, alighting on his blind senator Grandpa, savage alcoholic mother, childhood sweetheart, licentious sex life, and endless hobnobbery with the most prominent actors and politicians of the period as he mosies up the Hollywood ladder and cosies up with Kennedys.

So I am not ready to leave him yet. Number 6 in series.


And, if retrospectively proved encounters vidql underage males in foreign jurisdictions were to make a writer unpalatable, then there would be many gaps in the literary canon. It is typically well written, entertaining and, even when groe seems merely to resort to idle gossip about movie stars, writers, his bizarre family or life among the American ruling class with which he was associated, it seems perfectly justified as the stories within it are some of the juiciest one is ever likely to come across.


In the middle he once again takes a break from dizzying past memories of glamorous NY socialites and NYC beatniks in order to document present-day meetings with Jimmie’s friends.

Vidal’s lengthy disquisition on the Kennedys is easily the most self-indulgent bidal boring chapter in the book. Forster on the other hand, tend to get the cold shoulder for their frousty snobbishness.

Perhaps the gorgon masquerading as his mothers overshadowed much of the story so I was always anxious that she’d show up again and lash out with malice and cruelty. What I took away from it was his straightforward honesty in nearly all facets of his life and his razor sharp commentary on our modern day tendencies and mores.

Dec 17, RunRachelRun rated it really liked it Shelves: Published September 1st by Penguin Books first published You want the high-level political gossip? The full text of this book review goer only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books. Additionally he was known for his well publicized spats with such figures as Norman Mailer, Palimpssst F. Another book discovered through a swap that just blindsided me with it’s brilliance. What is an exile cosmopolitan doing in this Wasp rockery palmipsest the District of Columbia?

Literary in its approach and style [of course]. Given this context, an incident in will also now bring literary cops running. Vidal himself even stood or ran for election at the time that Jack Gorre was running for President, though he did not have a high opinion of most of the other members of the Kennedy administration, or of Kennedy himself, whom he regarded as a warmonger.