Author Quotes – Gore Vidal on Style

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

vidal youngGore Vidal (1925-2012) was a novelist, essayist, poet, historian, playwright, and noted wit who was rarely at a loss for words and never shied away from controversy. Born to a political family (his grandfather was a senator for Oklahoma and he was a distant cousin of Al Gore) Vidal was a proponent of sexual freedom, a critic of American wars, and a skeptic of all politicians (though he ran for office twice, in 1960 and 1982.)  Vidal has been called brilliant, vicious, caustic and dangerous, but even his most ardent critics agree that he was among the most elegant and accomplished writers of the last 100 years.

author quotes Gore Vidal on Style (1)

 

More Quotes from Gore Vidal

On Politics:

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

“The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country — and we haven’t seen them since.”

“Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers. I hope it’s the same fifty percent.”

“It makes no difference who you vote for — the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.”

On Writing:

“There was more of a flow to my output of writing in the past, certainly. Having no contemporaries left means you cannot say, “Well, so-and-so will like this,” which you do when you’re younger. You realize there is no so-and-so anymore. You are your own so-and-so. There is a bleak side to it.”

“For a writer, memory is everything. But then you have to test it; how good is it, really? Whether it’s wrong or not, I’m beyond caring. It is what it is. As Norman Mailer would say, “It’s existential.” He went to his grave without knowing what that word meant.”

“Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!”

“Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note.”

On Being American:

“Envy is the central fact of American life.”

“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.”

“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.”

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

On Sex:

“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.”

“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.”

On Himself:

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

“It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail.”

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

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