(April 28) American literary legend Gore Vidal wrote his first novel Willow while on night watch in port on a U.S. army ship during World War II, but he wouldn't hit the bigtime until a couple of years later when his 1948 novel The City and the Pillar outraged critics because it was about a well-adjusted young gay man who comes of age and - unlike gay characters in other books and movies of the era - does not die at the end.
|Gore Vidal (Photo courtesy Blue Metropolis)|
Vidal freaked out and threatened to sue White for suggesting he’d been physically attracted to McVeigh. "I had [originally] sent him the script and he approved it," White says. "In the program notes, I was careful to note that [Vidal and McVeigh] had never met. But there is one Oklahoma bomber and one famous writer. So I wrote Vidal a letter and reminded him he approved it, reminded him of the times we had met, that he had blurbed a book of mine in 1978. Then he dropped it and never sued me."
It's true Vidal can be grumpy, but the man -- who has been at the forefront of US public intellectual life for nearly 60 years-- .is a living legend and the world is a better place with him.
Vidal will discuss his experience with the American and international media during a 90-minute Q&A session at McGilll University's annual Beaverbrook Lecture series on April 29 (Leacock Building, 855 Sherbrooke St. W, Rm 132). Free admission. It begins at 6:30 pm. Then CBC host Michael Enright will talk to Vidal in a 75-minute Q&A session at the festival's host hotel, the Holiday Inn Centreville (in Chinatown), April 30 at 4 pm ($15). Vidal will have book signings at the Blue Met bookstore (in the Holiday Inn Centreville) immediately after both events.