Gore Vidal dies: 10 of his best quotes on writing and language

The iconic writer passed away Tuesday at the age of 86. He left behind a trove of works, as well as countless witty quips.

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Gore Vidal passed away on Tuesday at his home in the Hollywood Hills. He died of complications of pneumonia. Vidal was 86.

The New York Times obituary offers a glimpse at his résumé:

“Mr. Vidal was, at the end of his life, an Augustan figure who believed himself to be the last of a breed, and he was probably right. Few American writers have been more versatile or gotten more mileage from their talent. He published some 25 novels, two memoirs and several volumes of stylish, magisterial essays. He also wrote plays, television dramas and screenplays. For a while he was even a contract writer at MGM. And he could always be counted on for a spur-of-the-moment aphorism, putdown or sharply worded critique of American foreign policy.”

Vidal, like many writers of his time, was an oversized character—a sort of mad uncle of 20th century American writing—and sadly, many of these writers have died in the last 10 years, including Norman Mailer and Hunter S. Thompson. (Another one of these writers, Truman Capote, died in 1984, which Vidal famously called “a good career move.”)

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