"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!"
Literary Birthday - 3 October
Happy Birthday, Gore Vidal, born 3 October 1925, died 31 July 2012
Gore Vidal’s Top 10 Quotes on Writing
- Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
- Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
- 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!
- I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place.
- Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note.
- How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.
- Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
- You can’t really succeed with a novel anyway; they’re too big. It’s like city planning. You can’t plan a perfect city because there’s too much going on that you can’t take into account. You can, however, write a perfect sentence now and then. I have.
- 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.
- Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
Gore Vidal wrote essays, novels, screenplays, and Broadway plays. His most widely regarded novels are Myra Breckinridge, Julian, Burr, and Lincoln, The City and the Pillar. His screen-writing credits included the Ben-Hur (1959) which won the Academy Award for Best Picture.
Vidal was a long time critic of American foreign policy. He was also known for his spats with Norman Mailer, William F. Buckley, Jr., and Truman Capote. Remembered for his caustic wit, he referred to himself as a ‘gentleman bitch’ and has been described as the 20th century’s answer to Oscar Wilde.
He was the last of a generation of American writers who served in World War II, including J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, and Joseph Heller.
by Amanda Patterson
"How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself."
Gore Vidal, the author, playwright, politician and commentator, died 31 July 2012 of complications from pneumonia.
Vidal was among the last generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities.
In one interview, Vidal said, “I spent a lot of time in cemeteries as a kid. I was always jealous of the marble”.
We hope he gets some beautiful marble of his own.
The Gotham Book Mart was famous for its literary eminences.
A December 1948 party for Osbert and Edith Sitwell (seated, center) drew a roomful of bright lights to the Gotham Book Mart: clockwise from W. H. Auden, on the ladder at top right, were Elizabeth Bishop, Marianne Moore, Delmore Schwartz, Randall Jarrell, Charles Henri Ford (cross-legged, on the floor), William Rose Benét, Stephen Spender, Marya Zaturenska, Horace Gregory, Tennessee Williams, Richard Eberhart, Gore Vidal and José Garcia Villa. (Photo: Gotham Book Mart)