Gore Vidal, born Eugene Louis Vidal, was an American writer, author of novels, plays, screenplays, essays, memoirs. Also occasional politician (Democratic candidate for Congress in upper New York in 1960, Democratic primary for California senator in 1982, both unsuccessful).
Gore Vidal also
wrote two volumes of memoirs, and wrote and spoke about his life many
times. In that, his focus is always very much on the people he knew, on
four levels, with overlaps: his family, famous and/or powerful people he
met; people he liked and loved; and people he hated and despised.
example of overlaps: he was sort-of related to Jacqueline Kennedy, and
during John F. Kennedy's (EIE) administration, he often socialised with them. That is
a period in his life he kept referring to, clearly proud of his
proximity to them. Yet he and Bobby Kennedy hated each other, which led
Mrs Kennedy to say once in public that she barely knew Vidal. That led
him to cut ties with her, irrevocably.
He also cut
ties with his mother, Nina and with the author Truman Capote, writing
even after their deaths with nothing but contempt and hatred, yet calmly
explaining, in his writings, precisely what he despised in them.
the other hand, he kept throughout his entire life a very close circle
of friends, especially his life partner/secretary Howard Austen and the
couple Paul Newman-Joanne Woodward. He also treasured forever the memory
of his perfect love, Jimmie Trimble, who died fighting in WWII.
above, very consistent during his life, shows the Gamma values of R+F
harsh judgement in relationships, but more specifically the
all-or-nothing quality in ILIs and LIEs.
enjoyed intellectual debates with people he despised, where he could
attack them mercilessly, most famously William F. Buckley in 1968 (there
is a documentary, 'Best of Enemies'). When Buckley died, his comment
was, "RIP WFB - in Hell". Again an example of F as quadra value.
of his novels were either sophisticated, factual yet opinionated
historical novels (as if fell to him, he said, to teach the correct
history) or quirky novels about slightly "stoned" (my phrase) alternate
universes, such as 'Messiah', 'Live from Golgotha', 'Duluth'. Later in
life, he got increasingly opinionated about history in politics, in a
know-it-all way, as if his own interpretations were the only non-stupid
ones. This is perfectly consistent with the ILI's T1, P2, and L8.
calling himself "America's biographer", he spent decades living mostly
in Italy: in Rome and then Ravello, on the Amalfi Coast. Yet it wasn't
that he was attracted to the places as such; rather, he was attracted to
their connection to the ancient world - yet another T focus.
Vidal wrote the first US novel to portray homosexuality openly, in
1948, 'The City and the Pillar'. Although successful, it also damaged
his career, something that surprised him - an indication of his
obliviousness to E matters (possible E4).
All of that points very clearly to ILI as Gore Vidal's type.
Recommended sources and reading: Gore Vidal's two volumes of memoirs are "Palimpsest" and "Point to Point Navigation". Fred Kaplan's biography "Gore Vidal" is useful.
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