Quotes by Gore Vidal

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Half of the American people never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.

Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
Style is knowing who you are, what to say, and not giving a damn.
A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
Never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.
Laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself; and questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one's own cherished beliefs.
Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself.
The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent.
I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.
As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests
Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.
Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players, and Tennessee Williams has about 5, and Samuel Beckett one -- and maybe a clone of that one. I have 10 or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
The theater needs continual reminders that there is nothing more debasing than the work of those who do well what is not worth doing at all.
A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to articulate human relationships.
In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you're a great writer, you must say that you are.
Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.
I find in most novels no imagination at all. They seem to think the highest form of the novel is to write about marriage, because that's the most important thing there is for middle-class people.
It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true.
Never have children, only grand children.
If most men and women were forced to rely upon physical charm to attract lovers, their sexual lives would be not only meager but in a youth-worshiping country like America painfully brief.
There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem.
To a man, ornithologists are tall, slender, and bearded so that they can stand motionless for hours, imitating kindly trees, as they watch for birds.
The last best hope of earth, two trillion dollars in debt, is spinning out of control, and all we can do is stare at a flickering cathode-ray tube as Ollie answers questions on TV while the press, resolutely irrelevant as ever, asks politicians if they have committed adultery. From V-J Day 1945 to this has been, my fellow countrymen, a perfect nightmare.
All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world.
There is hardly an American male of my generation who has not at one time or another tried to master the victory cry of the great ape as it issued from the androgynous chest of Johnny Weissmuller, to the accompaniment of thousands of arms and legs snapping during attempts to swing from tree to tree in the backyards of the Republic.
Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.
It is difficult to find a reputable American historian who will acknowledge the crude fact that a Franklin Roosevelt, say, wanted to be President merely to wield power, to be famed and to be feared. To learn this simple fact one must wade through a sea of
I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults.
There is no such thing as a homosexual or a heterosexual person. There are only homo -- or heterosexual acts. Most people are a mixture of impulses if not practices.
It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy's edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create one world. Instead of one world, we have star wars, and a future in which dumb dented human toys will drift mindlessly about the cosmos long after our small planet's dead.
Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin.
It makes no difference whom you vote for -- the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.
Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
Usually, I forget first meetings, excepting always those solemn audiences granted by the old and famous when I was young and green.