The Associated Press is reporting that the lights on Broadway will be dimmed Friday night to honor the memory of Gore Vidal, whose play “The Best Man” is in the midst of a successful run at the Schoenfield Theatre.
At 86, Mr Vidal passed away from us at his home of pneumonia. Gore Vidal is the author of twenty-four novels, five plays, many screenplays, more than two hundred essays, and a political commentator, an educator and a patriot. I admired his mind and his ability to speak his mind irregardless of others reaction. He was one of my heroes. I can’t say I always agreed with him, although I often did or always applauded his behavior. In 1968, I happened to watch the ill-fated exchanges on television between himself and William F. Buckley, Jr.- two powerful men with opposing opinions on just about everything. This may be when the phrase socially appropriate speech was born.
He wrote his first novel at 19 while in the army. The year I was born, 1948 he wrote “The City and the Pillar” which caused a furor for its dispassionate presentation of homosexuality. Mr.Vidal is often seen as an early champion of sexual liberation. The man was unappologetic about being gay but I hope he will be remembered for his novels about history,or his mystery novels or essays on the nature of national politics and critiques of american expansionism / imperialism. He was passionately political , ran for Congress himself and actively supported others over the years. He helped me to formulate my own opinions on politics, free speech, and the direction of this nation.
Two of my favorite quotes attributed to him :
”Fifty percent of people won’t vote, and fifty percent don’t read newspapers. I hope it’s the same fifty percent.”
“There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.”
references: http://www.gorevidalnow.com/ , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gore_Vidal , http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-19074230
http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Gore_Vidal , http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/01/gore-vidal-dies , http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2012/aug/01/gore-vidal-best-quotes