Gore Vidal cover

photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Gore Vidal

American writer (1925-2012)

1925   -   2012

movement: postmodern literature
genre: novel, essay, drama
country of citizenship: United States of America
language of expression: English
educated at: Phillips Exeter Academy, Sidwell Friends School
occupation: playwright, actor, screenwriter, novelist, essayist, writer, literary critic, non-fiction writer, science fiction writer, politician, journalist, prosaist, opinion journalist
award received: National Book Award, Edgar Awards, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, National Book Award for Nonfiction

Ebooks: on Wikisource

Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (; born Eugene Louis Vidal, October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012), better known as Gore Vidal, was an American writer and public intellectual known for his epigrammatic wit, erudition, and patrician manner. Vidal was bisexual, and in his novels and essays interrogated the social and cultural sexual norms he perceived as driving American life. Beyond literature, Vidal was heavily involved in politics. He twice sought office—unsuccessfully—as a Democratic Party candidate, first in 1960 to the United States House of Representatives (for New York), and later in 1982 to the U.S. Senate (for California). A grandson of a U.S. Senator, Vidal was born into an upper class political family. As a political commentator and essayist, Vidal's primary focus was the history and society of the United States, especially how a militaristic foreign policy reduced the country to a decadent empire. His political and cultural essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and Esquire magazines. As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal's topical debates on sex, politics, and religion with other intellectuals and writers occasionally turned into quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr. and Norman Mailer. As a novelist, Vidal explored the nature of corruption in public and private life. His polished and erudite style of narration readily evoked the time and place of his stories, and perceptively delineated the psychology of his characters. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), offended the literary, political, and moral sensibilities of conservative book reviewers, the plot being about a dispassionately presented male homosexual relationship. In the historical novel genre, Vidal recreated the imperial world of Julian the Apostate (r. AD 361–63) in Julian (1964). Julian was the Roman emperor who espoused "religious tolerance" in order to re-establish pagan polytheism to counter Christianity. In social satire, Myra Breckinridge (1968) explores the mutability of gender roles and sexual orientation as being social constructs established by social mores.: 94–100  In Burr (1973) and Lincoln (1984), each protagonist is presented as "A Man of the People" and as "A Man" in a narrative exploration of how the public and private facets of personality affect the national politics of the United States.: 439 : 75–85 
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historical novel written by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal



1964 novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal


The City and the Pillar

novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal


Myra Breckinridge

novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal



novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal



novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal


The Best Man

1960 play by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal

The Smithsonian Institution

novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal


Two Sisters

novel by Gore Vidal

author: Gore Vidal


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