Gore Vidal - Legendary Author, Political Commentator And Essayist Gore Vidal Passes Away Aged 86
One of the true greats of modern novel and essay writing, Gore Vidal, has sadly passed away in his home in Los Angeles, aged 86. Vidal was a throwback to the some of the great writing duellers of the early 20th century, a man who relished the chance to argue with his contemporaries through prose, building up great rivalries including, famously, a long running feud with fellow US writer Truman Capote, whom he never missed a chance to snipe at.
He also was disparaging about Ernest Hemingway, viewing him as a joke, and enjoyed a long running battle with author and essayist Norman Mailer, whom he once likened to killer Charles Manson. The height of the latter's battles saw Mailer head-butt Vidal before a television appearance. Another rivalry developed with conservative political commentator William F. Buckley Jr; on national television in 1968, with the pair both commentating on the US Democratic National Convention, Vidal called Buckley a "pro-crypto-nazi".
Vidal's legacy though will be found most strongly within his words, which includes a series of historical novels, including 'Burr', '1876', 'Lincoln' and 'The Golden Age', as well as the at the time shocking transsexual comedy 'Myra Breckinridge', to name a few. In the USA he was respected hugely as an essayist, where he constantly dug beneath the powers of the USA and exposed their weaknesses. Never afraid to take a stand in what he believed in, Vidal was one of the last true political commentators to stand resolutely by his views.