Wednesday, August 1, 2012
Gore Vidal died today, and the words they used to describe him in The Times and on the radio were words I’ve never used in this life. Words like -- Bombastic, Titan, Iconoclast.
As a matter of fact, I never knew what iconoclast meant until maybe ten years ago when a neighbor characterized herself as such. Using her as an example, I assumed it meant recluse. But then I looked it up and found out otherwise.
True iconoclasts don't go around calling themselves iconoclasts, they just call themselves right.
Not sure how right Vidal was about anything. On the radio today, they played some clips, old TV interview clips, Vidal arguing with Norman Mailer, William Buckley. They called each other names -- Manson, queer, Nazi.
Mailer came off the worst, but none of them sounded very bright.
Writers tend to think best through their fingers. Not sure how that works, but it must happen sometime early in life when brilliance drains from the brain to the arms, to the hands, to the pen or keyboard. It's a pretty straight path and doesn't often take time for detours.
I liked Julian, the only novel of his, or anything of his for that matter, I ever read. Sorry he’s dead, though, admittedly, I thought he had died some time ago.
Labels: Gore Vidal