Gore Vidal, novelist, playwright, protean force of American letters has died at age 86 in Los Angeles. In a country that can poison you with fake sweetness, Mr. Vidal was a bracing, essential jolt of sour. Where will we ever get lines like these again?
"Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so."
"Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates."
"As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: you liberate a city by destroying it. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests."
"Half of the American people have never read a newspaper. Half never voted for President. One hopes it is the same half."
"Now you have people in Washington who have no interest in the country at all. They're interested in their companies, their corporations grabbing Caspian oil."
"The four most beautiful words in our common language: I told you so."