Gore Vidal | Critical Review by John Simon

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of Gore Vidal.
This section contains 6,523 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
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SOURCE: “What Gore Remembers,” in New Criterion, Vol. 14, No. 4, December, 1995, pp. 18-27.

In the following negative review of Palimpsest, Simon condemns the “self-aggrandizement,” vituperation, and disingenuousness of Vidal's memoir, particularly Vidal’s characterizations of various friends, writers, celebrities, and lovers.

Gore Vidal is a slick novelist, impressive essayist, and perfect bitch. All three of these skills come in handy in his memoir, Palimpsest. The gossip in it is rivetingly indiscreet; the nonfiction writing—as in descriptions of places and people he was indifferent to—evocative and entertaining; and the fiction—as in accounts of himself—smooth to the point of slipperiness. Palimpsest is, apparently, a collaboration. A picture at the beginning shows Vidal with a white cat crouching on his shoulder. The caption reads, “The memoirist in 1992. I am about...

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This section contains 6,523 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Review by John Simon
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Review by John Simon from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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