"History is nothing but gossip about the past, with the hope that it might be true." Gore Vidal 1925-2012
From 1960. Photographed by my favorite Life photographer Leonard McCombe. [source]
The journalist and fiction writer was almost as well known for his feuds as for his writing. Here are my five favorite nasty insults that Gore Vidal lobbed at other artist and writers:
1) “Andy Warhol is the only genius I've ever known with an IQ of 60.”
2) “The worst thing to happen to Lincoln - aside from the unfortunate incident at Ford's theatre - was to fall into the hands of Carl Sandburg.”
3) “Ayn Rand's 'philosophy' is nearly perfect in its immorality, which makes the size of her audience all the more ominous and symptomatic as we enter a curious new phase in our society.... To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil.”
4) “[Truman] Capote I truly loathed. The way you might loathe an animal. A filthy animal that has found its way into the house.”
5) "As Norman Mailer would say, "It's existential." He went to his grave without knowing what that word meant."
NOTE: I had to take the original Van Vechten picture down. You can find that original here.