Expat socialite and prodigious homosexual writer Gore Vidal has agreed to write an illustrated memoir that will be released next fall. The book, co-written with Vanity Fair editor Ann Schneider, will be different from his earlier memoirs in that it will be replete with photographs from Vidal's archives. Since we probably won't be able to afford the book when it comes out, enjoy the glorious archival images of our abbreviated version.Publisher Abrams calls the book "a scrapbook of Vidal’s considerable library of mementos, documents, photos, and records" that will take readers through "six decades of American social history," and has scheduled it for release in November of 2009. Vidal's already published two memoirs on his favorite subject, but with the wealth of photos out there, we don't have to wait that long for the illustrated version.
Increasingly addled essayist and novelist Gore Vidal tells Deb Solomon of the NYT Magazine how he really feels about John McCain: he's a "disaster." Also: "Who started this rumor that he was a war hero? Where does that come from, aside from himself? About his suffering in the prison war camp?" Well, the dude definitely was a POW. But that's not the only insult he's lobbed at political figures. The man has a history of being as bad as a Fox News anchor!
What's on iconoclastic writer Gore Vidal's mind these days? Oh just everything! Like: "You hear all this whining going on, 'Where are our great writers?' The thing I might feel doleful about is: Where are the readers?" And: "Everything's wrong on Wikipedia." Plus: "I've developed a total loathing for McCain, conceited little asshole. And he thinks he's wonderful. I mean, you can just tell, this little simper of self-love that he does all the time. You just want to kick him." More of Vidal's idle musings from this month's Esquire after the jump.
In 1960, American author and member of the designated ruling class Gore Vidal wrote a little play about how his good friend John Kennedy managed to fuck over intelligent wimp Adlai Stevenson and gain control of the Democratic party (and eventually the presidency). The play was called The Best Man, and it was made into an entertaining (and out of print) movie of the same name in 1964. It's the story of a hotly contested fight for the nomination that goes down to the wire, and all the smears and dirty tricks that make this country great. Do you see the parallels? DO YOU SEE? Well, they're actually kinda tenuous and not that informative, but it's a gripping little movie. Here's a clip, taken from a '90s BBC documentary on Vidal.
Author and professional personality Gore Vidal is a man who holds grudges. He holds them dearly, tenderly, and he'll hold them all to the grave, should he ever actually reach it. His sparring partners nearly all reside there these days—Truman Capote some time ago, Mailer (who he never actually hated that much, fistfights aside) more recently, and conservative intellectual William F. Buckley just last February. Buckley and Vidal's history goes back to the early 1960s, when they appeared on television together quite often to argue with each other, which was always thrilling, as the animosity between them was real. Which is easily seen in Vidal's non-obituary of Buckley, which is also a take-down of Newsweek's Buckley obituary. And of Newsweek itself, and the entire United States press, and even Buckley's "creepy" son Chris. It is, we're reasonably sure, the first thing Vidal's written on the subject of his enemy since Buckley's death, and quite possibly since well before that. As you might expect, it's a great (if sadly brief) read.
Conservative author, essayist, columnist, pundit, smug asshole, gadabout, secret spook, and blue-blooded creep William F. Buckley is dead. Buckley, 82, suffered from diabetes and emphysema, though his cause of death is not yet known. And with him died respectable, intelligent, genteel-but-cut-throat New York Conservatism.
Last night was the annual fancy dinner and awards ceremony gala held by the PEN foundation, a literary organization that works to defend free expression and foster international literary fellowship. This event is sort of the Prom of book publishing—everyone gets dolled up and hobnobs and drinks as someone doles out awards to inspiring dissident writers from third world countries and aging literary lions. It's awesome! Since we were only invited to the drinks bit, though, we thought we'd get the inside scoop from a spy who works in publishing. A good thing, too: we would've missed a bunch of Tina Brown-licious action.
You've gotta love cranky literary gay Gore Vidal. Even though he is 80,000 years old, he isn't afraid to stir up some shit, courageously calling out people who have been dead for way too long to talk back, and celebrating the fact that (he thinks) editors don't edit anymore because editing makes writers — that hack Fitzgerald, for example — worse:
· "2:45 PM THURSDAY - Anna Wintour zeta-jonesing on a McVeggie at the gaudy, fou-fou McDonald's on 42nd btw 8th & b'way wearing powder blue Old Navy summer dress and beaded Pearl River flip-flops. Pausing in front of Madame Tussaud's mistaken for mannequin by mid-western tourists. Poses for photos. Continues to AMC 25 where she catches matinee showing of Bringing Down The House. Refreshment stand clerk reassigned to soda machine after asking if she'd like butter on popcorn. Laughs (snickers?) inappropriately several times. Lose track of her as she sneaks into screening of What A Girl Wants."
· "Last nite- 04/24- at about 3am. Gore Vidal was in the bathroom at The Cock getting head from a 50-something Japanese guy Issey Miyaki. He flipped me off and then went back to degrading the man for his overly aggressive NYC real estate "trophy" purchases in the mid 80's. I know that it was Vidal because he used the word 'ignominious' whilst getting a blow job."
· Bill Clinton pulled Richard Gere aside at a party thrown by Anna Wintour to discuss Gere's public excoriation of his wife, Senator Hillary Clinton the recent AmFar event in midtown. David Kuhn, ex-editor of Steven Brill's defunct Content magazine, got into a screaming match with two women who locked themelves in the bathroom for 15 minutes a party hosted by Jay MacInereney. A frustrated Kuhn started banging on the door and yelling, "Come on! Get out of there! It's just fucking rude!" [Page Six]
· Former presidential advisor David Gergen said he'd love to have Richard Nixon in office right now, and declared Bill Clinton the second smartest president. [Page Six]
· Just fired Independent editor Tom Clavin on owner Jerry Della Femina. Della Femina on Clavin, "He's been pretty arrogant and sanctimonious. But the paper's never done better. And people should put in a full day of work." [Page Six]
· Conservative columnist Ann Coulter on why she's moving to Miami: "[Bloomberg] is wrecking New York City and I didn't want to pay for his fascist smoking police...Soon he'll be mandating that New Yorkers have a glass of milk and engage in calisthenics every day...He seems to imagine that New Yorkers were drawn to that city for the clean living...I'm not sure even [former mayor John] Lindsay could have come up with something so breathtakingly stupid. Reduced bar business means reduced tax revenues means Ann-Pays-More. So I'm gone." [Page Six]
· Socialite Sale Johnson: "You know the world's gone nuts when the best rapper is a white guy, the Swiss hold the America's Cup, France is accusing the U.S. of arrogance and Germany doesn't want to go to war." [Cindy Adams]
· Liz Smith is being strangely catty about her NYT counterpart, Joyce Wadler. [Liz Smith]
· Gore Vidal may have authored Michael Moore's Oscar speech. [Liz Smith]
· Rapper Ol'Dirty Bastard is staying in a psychiatric hospital after exhibiting signs of schizophrenia: "He would look up at the sky and say, 'Yes, I will do what you say.' He also said the voices had told him to rename himself 'Big Baby Jesus.'" [NY Daily News]
· Michael Douglas' ex-wife Diandra on her ex's wedding picture fiasco with Hello!: "If you re going to do something as trashy and tacky as being in one of those magazines, you might as well donate it to a good cause." [Page Six]
· Ex-Post reporter Kyle Smith just sold a comedic novel to Harper Collins about the frazzled love life of a features editor at a very Post-like paper. [Page Six]
· Tina Brown says that if her talk show tanks, she can say "it was just a gas." [Page Six]
· Gore Vidal blasts the media's war coverage: "The media [have] never been more disgusting in my lifetime. Every lie out of Washingtonthey're out there doing war dances." [Page Six]
· David Gest and Liza Minelli celebrate one year of dysfunctional matrimony with 1,200 of their closest friends on March 16. [Liz Smith]
· 66 (Jean-Georges' new place) architect Richard Meier, when asked if he planned to autograph the walls: "Yes," [pointed toward a red sign near the ceiling] "My name is 'Exit.'" [NY Daily News]