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Gore Vidal quotes (showing 1-30 of 209)

“The unfed mind devours itself.”
Gore Vidal
“How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.”
Gore Vidal, Julian
“Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half.”
Gore Vidal, Screening History
“Write something, even if it's just a suicide note. ”
Gore Vidal
“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”
Gore Vidal
“As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”
Gore Vidal
“The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.”
Gore Vidal
“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. ”
Gore Vidal
“Ayn Rand's 'philosophy' is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society.... To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.”
Gore Vidal
“Every time a friend succeeds, I die a little.”
Gore Vidal
“Actually, there is no such thing as a homosexual person, any more than there is such a thing as a heterosexual person. The words are adjectives describing sexual acts, not people. The sexual acts are entirely normal; if they were not, no one would perform them.”
Gore Vidal, Sexually Speaking: Collected Sex Writings
“The important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself.”
Gore Vidal
“Little Bush says we are at war, but we are not at war because to be
at war Congress has to vote for it. He says we are at war on terror,
but that is a metaphor, though I doubt if he knows what that means.
It's like having a war on dandruff, it's endless and pointless.”
Gore Vidal
“No good deed goes unpunished”
Gore Vidal
“It is not enough merely to win; others must lose.”
Gore Vidal
“I’m not sentimental about anything. Life flows by, and you flow with it or you don’t. Move on and move out.”
Gore Vidal
“[Professor] Frank recalled my idle remark some years ago: 'Never pass up the opportunity to have sex or appear on television.' Advice I would never give today in the age of AIDS and its television equivalent Fox News.”
Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation
“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”
Gore Vidal
“Monotheism is easily the greatest disaster to befall the human race.”
Gore Vidal
“There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise.”
Gore Vidal
“A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.”
Gore Vidal
“We are the United States of Amnesia, we learn nothing because we remember nothing.”
Gore Vidal
“The American press exists for one purpose only, and that is to convince Americans that they are living in the greatest and most envied country in the history of the world. The Press tells the American people how awful every other country is and how wonderful the United States is and how evil communism is and how happy they should be to have freedom to buy seven different sorts of detergent.”
Gore Vidal
tags: press
“Always a godfather, never a god.”
Gore Vidal
“The idea of a good society is something you do not need a religion and eternal punishment to buttress; you need a religion if you are terrified of death.”
Gore Vidal
“Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an IQ of 60.”
Gore Vidal
“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!”
Gore Vidal, The Essential Gore Vidal
“I have always regarded as a stroke of good fortune that I was not born or brought up in a small American town; they may be the backbone of the nation, but they are also the backbone of ignorance, bigotry, and boredom, all in vast quantities.”
Gore Vidal, Death Before Bedtime
“To a born-again atheist like myself, it is clear that each of us has multiple selves, talents, perceptions. But to the Roman Catholic, unity is all.”
Gore Vidal, At Home: Essays 1982-1988
“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.”
Gore Vidal

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