Smart Reads: The Sensational Gore Vidal


Smart Reads: The Sensational Gore Vidal


Today, we deeply mourn the loss of Gore Vidal, whose work in criticism and fiction remains unparalleled. America, welcome to true decline.

Gore Vidal is dead at 86. The internet rallies around his corpse. While the better part of the next month will probably be spent commemorating the life and work of the brilliant essayist, playwright, novelist and politico in all sorts of ways, the easiest thing to forget is how drop-dead gorgeous he was in his hey-day.

-From Myra Breckinridge, his masterwork.

-And some vintage Vidal from the New York Review of Books, where he did his famous profile of Orson Welles.

-The world of letters is poorer without him.

-Do we have an allergy to originality? The answer is yes, with the added misery of the knowing that most everything originates from religious texts as well.

Dogg is dead. Or is he?

Lonely are the Brave, a quite bizarre Kirk Douglas-starred Western, gets re-appreciated. As does the Hollywood ten’s Dalton Trumbo, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, and the golden age of old man westerns in general.

-The TIFF 2012 line-up is looking better and better, with Peaches Does Herself  as the most promising bit on offer.

Francine Prose writes about Aurora, selective empathy, and the interesting fact that she “like many Americans, I would assume—can go for quite a long while without having a serious conversation about the devil.”

Charles Simic writes about how rural spaces will be effected.

Teju Cole, of Open City fame, visits W.G. Sebald’s grave.

-Somehow no one can get over the ‘Generation Screwed’ article at Newsweek. To us it’s old news. Still, we always like an article that begins: “I may not look like it, but I am a modern-day serf.”