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United States: Essays 1952-1992 - "Contagious Self-Love" (1974) Summary & Analysis

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After an encounter with the Seventh Earl of Longford (or "Frank," as Vidal calls him) on British television, Vidal penned this satirical/sarcastic essay poking fun at the vanities of the English upper class. In that brief encounter, "I was depraved and corrupted by the sort of blind self-love that is so communicable that one is transformed...hopelessly dominated by the fact of the Seventh Earl who made me love him as he loves him."

Frank's latest book—after Humility—is The Grain of Wheat, an Autobiography, in which the Seventh Earl admits to being an intellectual although Vidal believes "the contents of Frank's mind are well worth a detour. Frank avers "my special kind of brain is well above average in literature," and shares with the reader his triumphs...

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This section contains 189 words
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Buy the United States: Essays 1952-1992 Study Guide
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