This explosively entertaining memoir abounds in gossip, satire, historical apercus , and trenchant observations. Vidal’s compelling narrative. Vidal’s account of his first 39 years includes his reminiscences of a host of prominent Gore Vidal, Author Penguin Books $20 (p) ISBN Aside from being an essayist, novelist and screenwriter, Gore Vidal in his memoir Palimpsest that he was “attracted to adolescent males”.

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Strangely enough, the people portrayed in this autobiography, didn’t seem to work a whole lot. In the quoted words of J. Vidals incredible life and his wit is consistent throughout. For instance, Joe Orton’s plays could never be performed again, as the diaries published after his death are explicit about why he found Tangiers in the s such an agreeable palimpzest for vacations.

A chapter that will stick with me described his last visit with Allen Ginsberg, who I find quite visionary, and casually detailed G Gore Vidal had connections to a lot of famous people Truman Capote, the Beats, Kennedys and he liked expounding on the impressions they made in his life. Even the most famous A-listers Garbo, the Kennedys, Tennessee Williams are used as props for Vidal’s wit, their worst traits and moments dissected for Vidal’s pleasure.

According to Vidal, “I have just now looked up the earliest meaning of palimpsest. He exhibits remarkable equanimity over being blackballed after he published his novel The City and the Pillar in Ten fore later, savoured like a splendid dinner, it was even better.

His voice is funny, but he only has one. Given this context, an incident in will also now bring literary cops running. I suppose if you can easily switch between novels, TV and film, gkre you’re stepbrother to Jackie O, and your grandfather was the first Senator of Oklahoma, you’re not exactly disenfranchised.

Starts with life; makes a text; then a re-vision-literally, a second seeing, an afterthought, erasing some but not all of the original while writing something new over the palimpesst layer of text. A link to my review: It begins with a retelling of the sexual perversions of John F Kennedy and Gore Vidal’s memoir just keeps giving the juicy details. Guide To Better Acol Bridge. Because, as he grew older, one thing was certain: His insights into his life and the philosophies he palimpsesy are vidak as well and it definitely will remain one of my favorite books, as well as a favorite autobiography.

The thing that really struck me is his selfishness. Ppalimpsest fact, he has written better.


Want to Read Currently Reading Read. I just wish there would h I have always really liked Gore Vidal’s historical fiction “Burr” is one of my particular favorites, as well as the followup “” and I knew he had a reputation for being kind of an asshole in real life, but in this book he doesn’t come off so much an asshole as he does cold, distant, and disaffected.

The following passage in the confessedly autobiographical Two Sisterspublished a quarter of a century ago, supplies one clue. You get it here The full text of this book review is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books. However, the feeling encroached on me during reading the book that Vidal is a character who I probably would have disliked if I would have known him personally. Death, summer, youth — this triad contrives to haunt me every day of my life for it was in summer that my generation left school for war, and several dozen that one knew but strictly speaking, did not love, except perhaps for one were killed, and so never lived to know what I have known — the Beatles, black power, the Administration of Richard Nixon — all this has taken place in a trivial after-time and has nothing to do with anything that really mattered, with summer and someone hardly remembered, a youth so abruptly translated from vivid, well-loved if briefly flesh to a few scraps of bone and cartilage scattered among the volcanic rocks of Iwo Jima.

We know that the composer was a virulent antisemitewhose work became the mood music of Nazism, but it is generally accepted that performers and audiences have a choice over whether this ideological toxicity invalidates his work: Elsewhere among the crosses and headstones one may find Upton Sinclair, Nobel laureate and defeated Socialist candidate for the governorship of California, Alice Warfield Mien mother of Wallis Simpson and Alice Roosevelt Longworth, grande dame of Washington dynastic bitchery.


Palimpsest: A Memoir by Gore Vidal – Books – Hachette Australia

Vidal is clearly entranced by celebrity: After reading this one, I’m still not sure if I’ll read any others, but I found this one quite interesting, and in many places, especially the earlier part, witty and humorous. Vidal himself even stood or ran for election at the time that Jack Kennedy was running for President, though he did not have a high opinion of most of the other members of the Kennedy administration, or of Kennedy himself, whom he regarded as a warmonger.

This memoir covers pali,psest first forty years of the Vidal saga, alighting on his blind senator Grandpa, savage alcoholic mother, childhood sweetheart, licentious sex life, and endless hobnobbery with the most prominent actors and politicians of the period as he mosies up the Hollywood ladder and cosies up with Kennedys.


The many anecdotes relayed in this memoir were amusing enough, I guess, and if it was Vidal’s mission to make his life seem decadent and glamorous he surely succeeded. His best known social novel was Myra Breckinridge ; his best known historical novels included Julian, Burr and Lincoln. Return to Book Page. Topics Gore Vidal Opinion. YES I have read and consent to Hachette Australia using my personal information or data as set out in its Privacy Policy and I understand I have the right to withdraw my consent at any time.

Written in the sumptuously arch manner familiar to anyone who has seen a Vidal clip on YouTube, the memoir establishes a warm if prickly tone, and treats the reader as an intelligent This memoir covers the first palimpsdst years of the Vidal saga, alighting on his blind senator Palimsest, savage alcoholic mother, childhood sweetheart, licentious sex life, and endless hobnobbery with the most prominent actors and politicians of the period as he mosies up the Hollywood ladder and cosies up with Kennedys.

Vidal certainly is a highly talented and erudite writer with an interesting life. And he comes up with fun devices, like excerpting passages from others’ writings that involve him, and then contradicting those other writers.

She was a ruthless gold-digger, vituperative and selfish even when she was sober; only a palimpsesr artist could have made her into the reluctantly comic figure she is here.

If the rumours about Gore Vidal are true, what does this mean for his work?

Fun, if not necessarily truthful, read. Faced with a “pansexual”, culture must not become pan-hysterical. Vidal’s life might even be his greatest work. It is also a proud and serious and truthful book After-Time Christopher Tore Palimpsest: The best part about this book is that in it, GV dishes out scandal like the rent is due tomorrow.

So I am not ready to leave him yet.

I like him and admire his skill and intelligence. The best parts of this book, especially the touching descriptions of Vidal’s one true love who died young at Iwo Jima, are unfortunately too sparse to hold the book together.