Quotations From GORE VIDAL


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  • 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.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. Interview in Writers at Work, Fifth Series, ed. George Plimpton (1981).

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  • 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.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. "Mongolia!" Armageddon? Essays 1983-1987 (1987).
  • 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.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. Newsweek (New York, Mar. 25, 1968).

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  • 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.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. repr. In Homage to Daniel Shays: Collected Essays 1952-1972 (1974). "Norman Mailer's Self-Advertisements," Nation (New York, Jan. 2, 1960).

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  • Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. quoted in Sunday Times Magazine (London, Sept. 16, 1973).

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  • A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. Quoted in San Francisco Chronicle (April 12, 1981).
  • Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. Independent (London, Aug. 16, 1989).

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  • 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.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. repr. In A View from the Diner's Club (1991). "Gods and Greens," Observer (London, August 27, 1989).
  • Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. repr. In A View from the Diner's Club (1991). "Gods and Greens," Observer (London, Aug. 27, 1989).
  • A triumph of the embalmer's art.
    Gore Vidal (b. 1925), U.S. novelist, critic. Quoted in Observer (London, April 26, 1981). referring to Reagan. In the same newspaper, Feb. 7, 1982, Vidal was quoted: "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."
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