A dozen thoughts from Gore Vidal
August 1st, 2012
10:59 AM ET

A dozen thoughts from Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal, the eclectic author who faithfully chronicled the major shifts and upheavals in the United States in books, essays and plays, has died. He was 86.

Here are a dozen of his best quotes, as gathered by The Gore Vidal Pages.

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."

"It is not enough to succeed. Others must fail."

"I can understand companionship. I can understand bought sex in the afternoon, but I cannot understand the love affair."

"Never pass up a chance to have sex or appear on television."

"A narcissist is someone better looking than you are."

"Write something, even if it's just a suicide note."

"You know, I've been around the ruling class all my life, and I've been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country."

"I suspect that one of the reasons we create fiction is to make sex exciting."

"The United States was founded by the brightest people in the country - and we haven't seen them since."

"Every four years the naive half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman president everything will be all right. But it won't be."

"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so."

"There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise."

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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Gore Vidal died, huh?
    Another one bites the dust.
    I wrote something.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
    • Female Writer

      Yours is the longest piece of prose I've read in months.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:54 am | Report abuse |
  2. skeptical

    Stephen Covey, a great author and consultant dies and he get a blurb. This man espouses garbage and contention and he gets a whole page.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Stephen Covey got his own page, not just a blurb; I will admit I favored him over Gore Vidal, however.

      August 1, 2012 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Solomon

      Covey was a dumb racist. Vidal was educated and intelligent and actually elevated us – without religious discrimination and patronizing words for people who were different. Covey is part of that "immoral" moral majority who never practice what they preach.

      August 1, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • DM

      Covey wasnt even in the same league as Vidal. Nowhere near as prolific.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Truthmonitor

      That's 'cause we love garbage and contention. Everything else if BORING.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • patcee

      Vidal deserves it.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • DM

      Contention is the story of the human plight, especially when it comes to our own government. You want to stay in the dark and remain ingorant, then dont read Vidal.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Ricky Fil A

    My cousin Chick never really liked him.

    August 1, 2012 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Briana Walker

      That's actually funny! Rather subtle too.

      August 1, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  4. ronjayaz

    CNN is a fascist pig like Buckley, although GV sed it better–a crypto-fascist. It refuses my comments! See FACEBOOK.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Obama Mama

    #8 is intriging, the truth spoken by the upper crusty.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Kenny of Salt

    I don't know much about Gore Vidal, but Steven Covey was the antichrist. I met him once. The antichrist.

    August 1, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Well, he's dead, so....obviously his influence wasn't as widespread as what is usually attributed to the antichrist...

      August 1, 2012 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  7. alireza armin

    His most famou quot was "we should chage the name of united stste of america to united state of amnesia" so true. We forgot so fast what happened to us under Bush/ Chaney regim and now we are following Mitt to a greater disaster.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. JAB62

    From his best quotes he appears to have had NPD, Narcissist Personality Disorder. So I guess he would've known that since he was so unapologetic.

    August 1, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  9. saywhat

    A prolific writer known for his "witty aphorisms " and versatility. His opinions are contentious and added to his following.Iconic he has been declared. RIP

    August 1, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Bill of the Desert

    The principle ingredient in Gore's life is that he was gay. He never forgave the world for thinking that fact more important than his intellect. His best remembered comments are mean-spirited but witty. I am sure that he appreciated Alice Roosevelt Longworth's bargello'd pillow: "If you can't say something nice about someone, come sit by me."

    August 1, 2012 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mel

    I hope Mr. Vidal contributed more to his family and friends than he did to his writing.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Hope

    A man of the world who ignored his spirituality.

    Versed... but, Void... Vanity.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Report abuse |
  13. patcee

    Stop shouting.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • JC

      No one is shouting.

      August 1, 2012 at 5:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Tropett

    America's I.Q. Just took a giant hit.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Bart Flaster

    Uhh.... Giggity.

    August 1, 2012 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
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