他1948年写的小说《诚实与梁柱》(The City and the Pillar)作为美国第一本反映同性恋的小说，引起社会争论。2012年在86岁的时候去世。维达尔共出版了25部小说、数部剧本和200多篇散文。
在本书中，The Nation杂志记者以及历史学家Jon Weiner收集了四篇他在1988年、2000年、2006年以及2007年与维达尔进行的访问。Weiner证明了，维达尔的聪明就是在于他对于政治的敏锐看法。他非常尊敬他的祖父，美国参议院Thomas Gore。他对他的堂兄弟前美国副总统Al Gore唯一的不满就是他在2000年的总统大选事没有更强力地去争取。他喜欢希拉蕊·柯林顿，以及任何可以打败「布希团队」的人。
关于作者：Josh Weiner是《国家》杂志（The Nation）的编辑，同时在美国加州大学Irvine分校的历史教授。他写过多本美国历史书，包括：How We Forgot the Cold War: A Historical Journey Across America、Historians in Trouble、Gimme Some Truth: The John Lennon FBI Files以及Professors, Politics and Pop。
GORE VIDAL, IN I TOLD YOU SO …
The British always want to know what class you belong to. I was asked that on the BBC. I said “I belong to the highest class there is: I’m a third generation celebrity. My grandfather, father, and I have all been on the cover of Time. That’s all there is. You can’t go any higher in America.”
On the Kennedys
Except for Jack, I would say that that family, of that generation, anyway, had all the charm of two tons of condemned veal.
On Jack Kennedy
He loved war and he had this sort of schoolboy attitude toward it. He loved counterinsurgency. I teased him once. He was sketching insignia for the Green Berets.
Q. You saw him sketching insignia for the Green Berets?
A. Yes. I said, “The last chief of state that I know of who designed military uniforms was Frederick the Great of Prussia.” He didn’t find that very funny.
On Ronald Reagan
In ’59, I was casting The Best Man and MCA offered us Reagan to play the good guy, an Adlai Stevenson sort of presidential candidate. I said I just didn’t think that Reagan would be very convincing as a presidential candidate. Instead we hired Melvyn Douglas. As a result Douglas’ career was totally revived, he won every prize in sight and was a star from then on to his death. Reagan by then had nothing, he was by that time a host on that TV program.
Q. So if Reagan had been cast in the lead of The Best Man…
A. Melvyn Douglas would have become President—a very good President. And Ron today would probably be touring in Paint Your Wagon.
We should not have gone to war. This is no business of ours. I love the last minute idea of, “oh, we are going to bring democracy to Iraq!” “It’s a fledgling democracy,” says the little fellow. What a fledgling! It looks more like a goose to me—one gently cooking and simmering.
Now, it’s always about somebody trying to get tenure in Ann Arbor, and his wife leaves him because of that au pair from England, and the child is autistic, and we have a lot of hospital scenes that are heartbreaking. And this goes on, and on, and on. I once had to judge the National Book Awards. There was no fiction in it–there was nothing. There was certainly no literature in it. It was just “write about what you know.” And what they knew wasn’t very much. At least with me you’ll find out who was Buchanan’s Vice President.
On Myra Breckenridge
I didn’t invent cellophane, which I’ve always loved as an invention, but my father brought a big container of it home from Dupont. I was about eight or so, and I said, “what’s it for?” He said, “nobody knows, but isn’t it beautiful?”
I think Myra is a bit the same. It came to me in Rome, when I was walking down an alley. Suddenly I hear this voice, booming in my ear: “Myra Breckinridge whom no man will ever possess.” And I thought, “what is that?” This is the way a lot of comedy writing comes: you hear a voice, and you don’t know what it means. So I went on writing, and writing, and writing, and I was halfway through the book before I realized that Myra had been a man. Clever maker of fictional characters that I am, I thought no woman would sound like this.
But we are a funny country: we’ve always had more good writers than good readers. So here we are, a bunch of writers just sort of marooned in limbo with nobody to read the things. Just passing asteroids. With other countries, if you have writers, you have readers. We have writers, we can’t get anyone to read them. The theory of American publishing today is “print and pulp, print and pulp, print and pulp,” as quickly as possible, to have room for another to “print and pulp”.
On how to handle the media
Q. Was there any gay-baiting in this campaign?
Q. Even then it was considered bad karma to fuck around with old Gore. But just to be safe I had something on every politician and publisher in the district. There was one old newspaper publisher up in Columbia County, the most conservative of the five counties. He was making some giggly hints about me, and he was also having an affair with his son’s wife. So after he took one particular swipe at me, I went on the radio in Hudson, the county seat, and I was asked, “Are you getting any ideas for any novels while you’re doing this?” I said “Well, every now and then I do get an idea. I thought of a funny one the other day. A father and a son. The son marries this woman who’s very good looking and the father has an affair with her.” The whole county burst into laughter, and I never heard another word from the Chatham Bee, I think it was called. Do that sort of thing once or twice and you don’t have to worry.
As it’s used now, narcissist means a fag. I tried to give it a deeper meaning. I was helping out some book reviewer. I said “a narcissist is anyone better looking than you are.” [laughter] I think that struck a nerve, because I’ve had people come up to me on the street, keening, howling, over that. Still suffering over that blow.
- I Told You So: GORE VIDAL TALKS POLITICS
- 作者：Jon Weiner
- 出版社代理人：OR Books