Thursday, 2 August 2012

Gore Vidal RIP

So, Deformable mirror posts maybe like buses. But I felt I had to write a short take on Gore Vidal who was one of the figures who got me interested in political ideas and writing. Unfortunately it is a good many years since I read any of his novels or essays, perhaps precisely because I tend not to reread figures I enjoyed in my youth at risk of disappointment. In fact that's partially why I didn't write a quick obit of Ray Bradbury, because the last of his books I read about a year or so ago left me cold. But maybe better late than never. And then, I'd have disagreements with Vidal both over abortion, some of his more naive comments on US imperialism and over his support for some of the more questionable views of the green lobby (which for me mars this otherwise excellent collection of quotes). But that shouldn't put me off more reading. The writer of The Guardian's obituary is pretty dismissive of his fiction writing, but I wonder if posterity will agree? Whilst I haven't read Vidal's novels for a long time, I suspect that' Lincoln' may have a longer lifespan than the more humanist social commentary of his contemporaries. Novels of ideas seem to have had their day as far as the Anglophone literary establishment is concerned. Maybe they are wrong.

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