Gore Vidal (b. October 3): “Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note” & other quotes about writing

3 Oct


Gore Vidal (born 3 October 1925, died 31 July 2012) wrote novels, screenplays and Broadway plays. His most widely regarded novels are Myra Breckinridge, Julian, Burr, and Lincoln, The City and the Pillar. His screen-writing credits included Ben-Hur which won the 1959 Academy Award for Best Picture.

He was also known for his feuds with Norman Mailer and Truman Capote. Remembered for his caustic wit, he referred to himself as a ‘gentleman bitch’ and has been described as the 20th century’s answer to Oscar Wilde. He was the last of a generation of American writers who served in World War II, including J.D. Salinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, and Joseph Heller.

 Gore Vidal’s Top 10 Quotes on Writing:

  1. Write something, even if it’s just a suicide note.
  2. Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
  3. Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.
  4. Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
  5. Southerners make good novelists: they have so many stories because they have so much family.
  6. How marvellous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.
  7. I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place.
  8. Today’s public figures can no longer write their own speeches or books, and there is some evidence that they can’t read them either.
  9. Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!
  10. You can’t really succeed with a novel anyway; they’re too big. It’s like city planning. You can’t plan a perfect city because there’s too much going on that you can’t take into account. You can, however, write a perfect sentence now and then. I have.

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