Tuesday, October 26, 2010

"You will never be forgiven for this book"

I like strangers, I guess.

It's better to have one person . . isn't it?

Maybe for some people. But not for me, he lied. Sometimes I never even know their names. 

Sometimes we never say more than a few words. It all happens so natural, so easy.

Sounds lonely.

Isn't everything?

[He] sat back in his chair and looked about the old-fashioned bar with its dark heavy wood. Several club members sat drinking quietly at a corner table. 

You've changed.

I know. When you almost die, you change. When you've been a soldier, you change. When you get older, you change.

You seem a little more   . . definite now.

About some things. But I still don't know how to get what I want.  

Gore Vidal was born in 1925
at the United States Military Academy at West Point.
At age 22 he emerged from wartime service to present
a novel which was finally accepted by Random House.

The City and the Pillar (1948) is in its 10th
edition and is in translation throughout the world.
Mr Vidal has never been forgiven for this book.


  1. Read this for the first time only a few months ago... and loved it of course, as I loved this post.

  2. I'm glad to think you feel one was fair to the text, which I didn't wish to be seen as invoking on behalf of any principle it doesn't support. And I must tell you, Dan, one is lucky to have your scrutiny.

  3. never forgiven, never forgotten. to step out of context is to traverse the space where understanding sits waiting for us to say-that could be...

  4. I'm very pleased with these illustrations' deference to those boundaries, but sometimes the illumination of other peoples' manuscripts strikes me as an irresponsibly monastic concentration - whereas, I suppose, readers may derive a sense that either a fine work is being trivialised, or a cheap talent is being self-aggrandising.

    I'm slightly more pleased with the McClatchy illustrations because the final one greatly illuminated the poem for me, but to date it has drawn no notice at all. There, I'm satisfied to have drawn attention to something both Merrill and McClatchy would like us to apprehend.

    In both of these postings, conceived very fast and closely in time, I persist in disclosing the immanence of erotic corollaries in our investigative motivations and exertions. The latter, gestures of love and of delight in seeking delight, are so akin to athleticism's famously permitted strivings for metabolic bliss (cf., "Chariots of FIre"), as to deserve no less their emphatically self-evident physical depiction. I quite shamelessly do not care if this natural attribute of scholarship and of humane advocacy is condemned; lots of people haven't rowed before, either. But above all this method has been chosen to persist in the question raised here months ago, "Do you love them?"

    No one would deny, it is irresponsible to traffic in any discussion of the value of sentient life without thrusting its luminosity front and center as the meat, the fraternal, filial flesh and blood we dare to trifle with, as if finer things were at stake. All I suggest here, is that it is immoral to allow any speculative illumination to extend the faintest shadow over this one. Frivolously, perhaps, the United States has even erected a state-sponsored monument to this very principle, inscribed, "I swear eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man." We call it the Jefferson Memorial.

    Turning to LA's anticipation of discovering 'what could be,' I admit I never leave home without my context. Sometimes it compels me to leave home.