8 Great Quotes About Writing By Gore Vidal

(Image: A young Vidal, photographed by Carl Van Vechten [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
Writer/playwright/essayist/provocateur Gore Vidal, who passed away the other day, had a lot of things to say about a lot of subjects. He was one of those personalities who found a way to enrage pretty much everyone at one time or another.

The revival of his play about American politics, The Best Man, is currently playing on Broadway and audiences are finding much of it as relevant today as it was over 50 years ago.

If you’ve never read his books, I highly recommend Burr, one of my favorite historical novels. One would think books written by an intellectual would be dry and dull, but his work is actually highly entertaining.

Here are a few of this best quotes about writing/writers:

“In writing and politicking, it’s best not to think about it, just do it.”

“Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.”

“The unfed mind devours itself.”

“How marvelous books are, crossing worlds and centuries, defeating ignorance and, finally, cruel time itself.”

“Write what you know will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect!”

“I sometimes think it is because they are so bad at expressing themselves verbally that writers take to pen and paper in the first place.”

“Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head.”

“I wanted to be a politician and a movie star. But I was born a writer. If you’re born that, you can’t change it. You’re going to do it whether you want to or not.”

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3 thoughts on “8 Great Quotes About Writing By Gore Vidal

  1. My uncle played a reporter in The Best Man on Broadway. President Kennedy came to see the production and I have photo of him backstage. My uncle is standing next to him. How cool is that?

    1. OMG, that’s awesome! What a great bit of family history!

      I would have loved to have seen the current production, but won’t be able to get to NYC for vacation this year. I remember seeing the 1964 movie and liking it a lot.

      1. I haven’t seen the movie. I’ll pop over to Netflix and add it to my queue.

        My uncle’s stories are amazing, and the list of famous actors and directors he worked with impressive. He is 91 now and his health is failing, but not him memory! I’ve posted about him a couple time. He was a handsome devil!

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