Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Born Today: Author Gore Vidal

Author Gore Vidal was born today, October 3, in 1925. He was known for his patrician manner, epigrammatic wit, and polished style of writing.

Vidal thought all men and women are potentially bisexual, and rejected the adjectives "homosexual" and "heterosexual" when used as nouns, as inherently false terms used to classify and control people in society.

His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), offended the literary, political, and moral sensibilities of conservative book reviewers, with a dispassionately presented male homosexual relationship.

In the genre of social satire, Myra Breckinridge (1968) explores the mutability of gender role and sexual orientation as being social constructs established by social mores. 

In 1950, Gore Vidal met Howard Austen, who became his partner for the next 53 years. He said that the secret to his long relationship with Austen was that they did not have sex with each other, "It's easy to sustain a relationship when sex plays no part, and impossible, I have observed, when it does." 

In Celebrity: The Advocate Interviews (1995), by Judy Wiedner, Vidal said that he refused to call himself "gay" because he was not an adjective, adding "to be categorized is, simply, to be enslaved. Watch out. I have never thought of myself as a victim... . I've said – a thousand times? – in print and on TV, that everyone is bisexual."

In 2010, Vidal began to suffer from Wernicke–Korsakoff syndrome, a brain disorder often caused by alcoholism. On July 31, 2012, Vidal died of pneumonia at his home in the Hollywood Hills at the age of 86.

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