The City and The Pillar tackled the issue of homosexuality in a way that really had never been done before. In most mainstream novels, any gay characters were effeminate, deviant, and inevitably met their "comeuppance" at the end of the story--almost always by dying. His portrayal was of normal, masculine people, who did not die poetically. Vidal suffered such scathing criticism for The City and The Pillar that the New York Times refused to review any more of his books.
He was 86. His voice will be missed, and the world of words is diminished by his passing. Thank you Mr. Vidal for sharing yourself with us.
Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.Gore Vidal
Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.Gore Vidal
(This is a wonderfully telling quote that sums up many of the ideas I expressing about politics last week. From a writer who was as prolific as he was skilled, one can learn a lot by what he says perhaps isn't possible if you don't distance yourself from the very things he held dear.)
In writing and politicking, it's best not to think about it, just do it.Gore Vidal