Palimpsest: A Memoir

Palimpsest: A Memoir

Gore Vidal

Language: English

Pages: 448

ISBN: 0140260897

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


This explosively entertaining memoir abounds in gossip, satire, historical apercus, and trenchant observations. Vidal's compelling narrative weaves back and forth in time, providing a whole view of the author's celebrated life, from his birth in 1925 to today, and features a cast of memorable characters—including the Kennedy family, Marlon Brando, Anais Nin, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Litters were constantly being produced beneath Chippendale consoles and allowed to grow up on the spot I often wished that Liz were my mother. The Desire and the Succesiful Pursuit of the Whole • 25 Nina promptly took the dog and said that Liz had given it to her. This was followed by a flaming row of the sort that punctuated her life with me and, indeed, with anyone that she knew well. In later, more reflective years, she blamed her behavior on an agonizing menopause. But as of 1955 she was

qff, like a wallet and ring, and we give them to our ojficer, who in tumthis was standard procedure-sent them back to their next of kin. Personal things about Jim Trimble? Wel~ like I say, I probably knew him only six weeks . .. I remember him telling me, because he was engaged to a girl by the name of Christine White- he said, "Boy, we're going to get married." As I remember him, he died with his boots on. We had our little talk just a couple of hours bifore, about what we would do. Instead of

darkened. I have just read, in a breathy account of Anais's life by a young Frenchwoman, that I turned against Anais because I read in the diaries that she thought me "a talentless gigolo." The inventor of this clinker has outdone her role model, whose lies were far more artful. In any case, I'm only disturbed if the phrase means that I iiad no talent as a gigolo; I believe that this is actionable in law even if proof is no longer demonstrable by me in life. "Lying is an accursed vice," wrote

Bruhn say, 'No. Too young. Go to jail! " Rudi smiles; face ravaged but beautiful, still very much Tatar king. The upper body has begun to waste away, but the lower is still unaffected, legs powerful, and the feet-for a dancer-not too misshapen, no hammertoes. "Two kinds of dancer," he said, suddenly. "Perfect steps. Perfect technique. Then there is music dancer. Not so perfect Make mistakes. But music go right through body and onto audience!' He did not say which he was, but then he had always

literary consequence:' For her, they had been surpassed and replaced by Derrida, Foucault, and a lady who teaches currently at the Sorbonne. But Derrida is faded now, while Foucault's fateful, fatal adventures in the San Francisco bathhouses made him, briefly, a secular saint in the time of AIDS. I suppose that that is some distinction: But a half million people attended 170 • PALIMPSEST Sartre's funeral, and of that number, perhaps half had once read him, with passion. Tennessee decided to

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