Gore Vidal

The kind, contentious man of letters

Once I performed in a play with Gore Vidal. It was a one-night performance of Don Juan in Hell, which Norman Mailer directed. Vidal played the Devil, and I played Don Juan, and Susan Sontag played Doa Ana. So much is made of Vidal's acerbic nature, his competitiveness, his nastiness and his ambitions to be a political figure as well as a literary man, which he certainly was in many, many ways. But on a one-on-one basis, he was a very charming and approachable and generous person. He was the most professional of the four of us--more of a professional than...

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