Height of Gore Vidal
The height of Gore Vidal is …m.
1. Where did Gore Vidal come from ?
Eugene Luther Gore Vidal (/vɪˈdɑːl/; born Eugene Louis Vidal, October 3, 1925 – July 31, 2012) was an American writer and public intellectual known for his epigrammatic wit, patrician manner, and polished style of writing. Vidal was openly bisexual and his novels often dealt with LGBT characters, which was unusual at the time. Beyond literature, Vidal was heavily involved in politics. He twice sought office—unsuccessfully—as a Democratic Party candidate, first in 1960 to the United States House of Representatives (for New York), and later in 1982 to the U.S. Senate (for California).
2. What could we know about Gore Vidal besides his height ?
Vidal was born into an upper class political family. As a political commentator and essayist, Vidal’s primary focus was the history and society of the United States, especially how a militaristic foreign policy reduced the country to a decadent empire. His political and cultural essays were published in The Nation, the New Statesman, the New York Review of Books, and Esquire magazines. As a public intellectual, Gore Vidal’s topical debates on sex, politics, and religion with other intellectuals and writers occasionally turned into quarrels with the likes of William F. Buckley Jr. and Norman Mailer.
3. What are the projects of Gore Vidal ?
As a novelist, Vidal explored the nature of corruption in public and private life. His polished and erudite style of narration readily evoked the time and place of his stories, and perceptively delineated the psychology of his characters. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948), offended the literary, political, and moral sensibilities of conservative book reviewers, the plot being about a dispassionately presented male homosexual relationship. In the historical novel genre, Vidal recreated the imperial world of Julian the Apostate (r. AD 361–63) in Julian (1964). Julian was the Roman emperor who used religious tolerance to re-establish pagan polytheism to counter the political subversion of Christian monotheism. In social satire, Myra Breckinridge (1968) explores the mutability of gender acts and sexual orientation as being social constructs established by social mores.:94–100 In Burr (1973) and Lincoln (1984), each protagonist is presented as “A Man of the People” and as “A Man” in a narrative exploration of how the public and private facets of personality affect the national politics of the United States.:439:75–85
4. Somme collaborations with Gore Vidal ?
Eugene Louis Vidal was born in the cadet hospital of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York, the only child of Eugene Luther Vidal (1895–1969) and Nina S. Gore (1903–1978). Vidal was born there because his first lieutenant father was the first aeronautics instructor of the military academy. The middle name, Louis, was a mistake on the part of his father, “who could not remember, for certain, whether his own name was Eugene Louis or Eugene Luther”. In the memoir Palimpsest (1995), Vidal said, “My birth certificate says ‘Eugene Louis Vidal’: this was changed to Eugene Luther Vidal Jr.; then Gore was added at my christening [in 1939]; then, at fourteen, I got rid of the first two names.”:401
Eugene Louis Vidal was not baptized until January 1939, when he was 13 years old, by the headmaster of St. Albans school, where Vidal attended preparatory school. The baptismal ceremony was effected so he “could be confirmed [into the Episcopal faith]” at the Washington Cathedral, in February 1939, as “Eugene Luther Gore Vidal”.:xix He later said that, although the surname “Gore” was added to his names at the time of the baptism, “I wasn’t named for him [maternal grandfather Thomas Pryor Gore], although he had a great influence on my life.”:4 In 1941, Vidal dropped his two first names, because he “wanted a sharp, distinctive name, appropriate for an aspiring author, or a national political leader … I wasn’t going to write as ‘Gene’ since there was already one. I didn’t want to use the ‘Jr.'”:xx
Eugene Luther Vidal Sr. was director (1933–1937) of the Commerce Department’s Bureau of Air Commerce during the Roosevelt Administration, and was also the great love of the aviator Amelia Earhart. At the U.S. Military Academy, the exceptionally athletic Vidal Sr. had been a quarterback, coach, and captain of the football team; and an all-American basketball player. Subsequently, he competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics and in the 1924 Summer Olympics (seventh in the decathlon, and coach of the U.S. pentathlon). In the 1920s and the 1930s, Vidal Sr. co-founded three airline companies and a railroad line; (i) the Ludington Line (later Eastern Airlines); (ii) Transcontinental Air Transport (later Trans World Airlines); (iii) Northeast Airlines; and the Boston and Maine Railroad. Gore’s great-grandfather Eugen Fidel Vidal was born in Feldkirch, Austria, of Romansh background, and had come to the U.S. with Gore’s Swiss great-grandmother, Emma Hartmann.
Vidal’s mother, Nina Gore, was a socialite who made her Broadway theatre start as an extra actress in Sign of the Leopard, in 1928. In 1922, Nina married Eugene Luther Vidal, Sr., and thirteen years later, in 1935, divorced him. Nina Gore Vidal then was married two more times; to Hugh D. Auchincloss and to Robert Olds. She also had “a long off-and-on affair” with the actor Clark Gable. As Nina Gore Auchincloss, Vidal’s mother was an alternate delegate to the 1940 Democratic National Convention.
The subsequent marriages of his mother and father yielded four half-siblings for Gore Vidal – Vance Vidal, Valerie Vidal, Thomas Gore Auchincloss, and Nina Gore Auchincloss – and four step-brothers from his mother’s third marriage to Robert Olds, a major general in the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF), who died in 1943, 10 months after marrying Nina. The nephews of Gore Vidal include Burr Steers, a writer and movie director, and Hugh Auchincloss Steers (1963–1995), a figurative painter.
Raised in Washington, D.C., Vidal attended the Sidwell Friends School and St. Albans School. Given the blindness of his maternal grandfather, Senator Thomas Pryor Gore, of Oklahoma, Vidal read aloud to him, and was his Senate page, and his seeing-eye guide. In 1939, during his summer holiday, Vidal went with some colleagues and professor from St. Albans School on his first European trip, to visit Italy and France. He visited for the first time Rome, the city which came to be “at the center of Gore’s literary imagination”, and Paris. When the Second World War began in early September, the group was forced to an early return home; on his way back, he and his colleagues stopped in Great Britain, and they met the U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, Joe Kennedy (the father of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, later the President of the United States of America). In 1940 he attended the Los Alamos Ranch School and later transferred to Phillips Exeter Academy, in Exeter, New Hampshire, where he contributed to the Exonian, the school newspaper.
Rather than attend university, Vidal enlisted in the U.S. Army and worked as an office clerk in the USAAF. Later, Vidal passed the examinations necessary to become a maritime warrant officer (junior grade) in the Transportation Corps, and subsequently served as first mate of the F.S. 35th, berthed at Dutch Harbor. After three years in service, Warrant Officer Gene Vidal suffered hypothermia, developed rheumatoid arthritis and, consequently, was reassigned to duty as a mess officer.
The literary works of Gore Vidal were influenced by numerous other writers, poets and playwrights, novelists and essayists. These include, from antiquity, Petronius (d. AD 66), Juvenal (AD 60–140), and Apuleius (fl. c. AD 155); and from the post-Renaissance, Michel de Montaigne (1533-1592), Thomas Love Peacock (1785–1866), and George Meredith (1828–1909). More recent literary influences included Marcel Proust (1871–1922), Henry James (1843–1916), and Evelyn Waugh (1903–1966). The cultural critic Harold Bloom has written that Gore Vidal believed that his sexuality had denied him full recognition from the literary community in the United States. Bloom himself contends that such limited recognition more resulted from Vidal’s “best fictions” being “distinguished historical novels”, a subgenre “no longer available for canonization”.
The literary career of Gore Vidal began with the success of the military novel Williwaw, a men-at-war story derived from his Alaskan Harbor Detachment duty during the Second World War. His third novel, The City and the Pillar (1948) caused a moralistic furor over his dispassionate presentation of a young protagonist coming to terms with his homosexuality. The novel was dedicated to “J. T.”; decades later, Vidal confirmed that the initials were those of James Trimble III, killed in the Battle of Iwo Jima on March 1, 1945 and that Trimble was the only person he ever loved. Critics railed against Vidal’s presentation of homosexuality in the novel as natural, a life viewed generally at the time as unnatural and immoral. Vidal claimed that New York Times critic Orville Prescott was so offended by it that he refused to review or to permit other critics to review any book by Vidal. Vidal said that upon publication of the book, an editor at E. P. Dutton told him “You will never be forgiven for this book. Twenty years from now, you will still be attacked for it”. Today, Vidal is often seen as an early champion of sexual liberation.
Vidal took the pseudonym “Edgar Box” and wrote the mystery novels Death in the Fifth Position (1952), Death before Bedtime (1953) and Death Likes it Hot (1954) featuring Peter Cutler Sargeant II, a publicist-turned-private-eye. The Edgar Box genre novels sold well and earned black-listed Vidal a secret living. That mystery-novel success led Vidal to write in other genres and he produced the stage play The Best Man: A Play about Politics (1960) and the television play Visit to a Small Planet (1957). Two early teleplays were A Sense of Justice (1955) and Honor. He also wrote the pulp novel Thieves Fall Out under the pseudonym “Cameron Kay” but refused to have it reprinted under his real name during his life.
In the 1960s, Vidal published Julian (1964), about the Roman Emperor Julian the Apostate (r. A.D. 361–363), who sought to reinstate polytheistic paganism when Christianity threatened the cultural integrity of the Roman Empire, Washington, D.C. (1967), about political life during the presidential era (1933–45) of Franklin D. Roosevelt and Myra Breckinridge (1968), a satire of the American movie business, by way of a school of dramatic arts owned by a transsexual woman, the eponymous anti-heroine.
After publishing the plays Weekend (1968) and An Evening With Richard Nixon (1972) and the novel Two Sisters: A Novel in the Form of a Memoir (1970), Vidal concentrated upon the essay and developed two types of fiction. The first type is about American history, novels specifically about the nature of national politics. The New York Times, quoting critic Harold Bloom about those historical novels, said that Vidal’s imagination of American politics “is so powerful as to compel awe.” The historical novels formed the seven-book series, Narratives of Empire: (i) Burr (1973), (ii) Lincoln (1984), (iii) 1876 (1976), (iv) Empire (1987), (v) Hollywood (1990), (vi) Washington, D.C. (1967) and (vii) The Golden Age (2000). Besides U.S. history, Vidal also explored and analyzed the history of the ancient world, specifically the Axial Age (800–200 B.C.), with the novel Creation (1981). The novel was published without four chapters that were part of the manuscript he submitted to the publisher; years later, Vidal restored the chapters to the text and re-published the novel Creation in 2002.
The second type of fiction is the topical satire, such as Myron (1974) the sequel to Myra Breckinridge; Kalki (1978), about the end of the world and the consequent ennui; Duluth (1983), an alternate universe story; Live from Golgotha (1992), about the adventures of Timothy, Bishop of Macedonia, in the early days of Christianity; and The Smithsonian Institution (1998), a time-travel story.
In the United States, Gore Vidal is often considered an essayist rather than a novelist. Even the occasionally hostile literary critic, such as Martin Amis, admitted that “Essays are what he is good at … [Vidal] is learned, funny, and exceptionally clear-sighted. Even his blind spots are illuminating.”
For six decades, Vidal applied himself to socio-political, sexual, historical and literary subjects. In the essay anthology Armageddon (1987) he explored the intricacies of power (political and cultural) in the contemporary United States. His criticism of the incumbent U.S. president, Ronald Reagan, as a “triumph of the embalmer’s art” communicated that Reagan’s provincial worldview, and that of his administration’s, was out of date and inadequate to the geopolitical realities of the world in the late twentieth century. In 1993, Vidal won the National Book Award for Nonfiction for the anthology United States: Essays 1952–92 (1993).
In 2000, Vidal published the collection of essays, The Last Empire, then such self-described “pamphlets” as Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, Dreaming War: Blood for Oil and the Cheney-Bush Junta and Imperial America, critiques of American expansionism, the military-industrial complex, the national security state and the George W. Bush administration. Vidal also wrote a historical essay about the U.S. founding fathers, Inventing a Nation. In 1995, he published a memoir Palimpsest and in 2006 its follow-up volume, Point to Point Navigation. Earlier that year, Vidal had published Clouds and Eclipses: The Collected Short Stories.
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