Gore Vidal, author, playwright,essayist, screenwriter, and political activist, has passed away at age 86. The Telegraph has an obituary of the man, but I liked this compilation of Gore Vidal quotes:
On US politicians:
The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country – and we haven’t seen them since.
On the US electorate:
Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.
On Ronald Reagan:
He is not clear about the difference between Medici and Gucci. He knows Nancy wears one of them.
On John F Kennedy:
He was one of the most charming men I’ve ever known. He was also one of the very worst Presidents.
On political speeches:
In America, if you want a successful career in politics, there is one subject you must never mention, and that is politics. If you talk about standing tall, and it’s morning in America, and you press the good-news buttons, you’re fine. If you talk about budgets, tax reform, bigotry, and so on, you are in trouble. So if we aren’t going to talk issues, what can we talk about? Well, the sex lives of the candidates, because that is about the most meaningless thing that you can talk about.
On the press:
A writer must always tell the truth, unless he is a journalist.
On art and politics:
There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem.
Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say and not giving a damn.
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
Until the rise of American advertising, it never occurred to anyone anywhere in the world that the teenager was a captive in a hostile world of adults.
Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
On the death of the novel:
You hear all this whining going on, ‘Where are our great writers?’ The thing I might feel doleful about is: ‘Where are the readers?'” (Read more at Esquire)
At a certain age, you have to live near good medical care — if, that is, you’re going to continue. You always have the option of not continuing, which, I fear, is sometimes nobler.
On the secret to a happy life:
Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television.
Read more here.
Trivia: Gore Vidal’s first name was Eugene.