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 :: 1925-, American Novelist, Critic

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A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.
~ Gore Vidal - [Vanity]

 

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A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is an ability to articulate human relationships.
~ Gore Vidal - [Theater]

 

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All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world.
~ Gore Vidal - [Twentieth Century]

 

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Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
~ Gore Vidal - [Democracy]

 

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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
~ Gore Vidal - [Language]

 

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Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin.
~ Gore Vidal - [Democracy]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Writers and Writing]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Voting]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Fiction]

 

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I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.
~ Gore Vidal - [Sex]

 

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I'm all for bringing back the birch, but only between consenting adults.
~ Gore Vidal - [Punishment]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Charm]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Publicity]

 

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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
~ Gore Vidal - [Power]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Space]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Facts]

 

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It makes no difference whom you vote for -- the two parties are really one party representing four percent of the people.
~ Gore Vidal - [Voting]

 

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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.
~ Gore Vidal - [Sarcasm]

 

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Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
~ Gore Vidal - [Writers and Writing]

 

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Never have children, only grand children.
~ Gore Vidal - [Children]

 

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