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America
Engrave this Quote On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died.
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-Gore Vidal
Authors & Writing
Engrave this Quote I find in most novels no imagination at all. They seem to think the highest form of the novel is to write about marriage, because that's the most important thing there is for middle-class people.
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-Gore Vidal
Engrave this Quote Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.
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-Gore Vidal
Engrave this Quote Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps twenty players, and Tennessee Williams has about five, and Samuel Beckett one - and maybe a clone of that one. I have ten or so, and that's a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them.
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-Gore Vidal
Engrave this Quote Many writers who choose to be active in the world lose not virtue but time, and that stillness without which literature cannot be made.
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-Gore Vidal
Birds
Engrave this Quote To a man, ornithologists are tall, slender, and bearded so that they can stand motionless for hours, imitating kindly trees, as they watch for birds.
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-Gore Vidal
Bureaucracy
Engrave this Quote There is something about a bureaucrat that does not like a poem.
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-Gore Vidal
Charisma
Engrave this Quote If most men and women were forced to rely upon physical charm to attract lovers, their sexual lives would be not only meager but in a youth-worshiping country like America painfully brief.
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-Gore Vidal
Children
Engrave this Quote Never have children, only grand children.
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-Gore Vidal
Criticism
Engrave this Quote Great critics do not explicate a text; they describe it and then report on what they have described, if the description itself is not the criticism.
(Gore Vidal writing about the critic Edmund Wilson)
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-Gore Vidal, New York Review of Books, 1993
Cynicism
Engrave this Quote Laughing at someone else is an excellent way of learning how to laugh at oneself; and questioning what seem to be the absurd beliefs of another group is a good way of recognizing the potential absurdity of many of one's own cherished beliefs.
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-Gore Vidal
Democracy
Engrave this Quote Apparently, a democracy is a place where numerous elections are held at great cost without issues and with interchangeable candidates.
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-Gore Vidal
Engrave this Quote Democracy is supposed to give you the feeling of choice, like Painkiller X and Painkiller Y. But they're both just aspirin.
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-Gore Vidal
Envy / Jealousy
Engrave this Quote Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.
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-Gore Vidal, "quoted in Sunday Times Magazine (London)", September 16, 1973
Facts
Engrave this Quote It is the spirit of the age to believe that any fact, no matter how suspect, is superior to any imaginative exercise, no matter how true.
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-Gore Vidal
Government
Engrave this Quote The genius of our ruling class is that it has kept a majority of the people from ever questioning the inequity of a system where most people drudge along, paying heavy taxes for which they get nothing in return.
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-Gore Vidal
Language
Engrave this Quote 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
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-Gore Vidal
Media
Engrave this Quote The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western World. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity -- much less dissent.
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-Gore Vidal
Engrave this Quote Of course, it is possible for any citizen with time to spare, and a canny eye, to work out what is actually going on, but for the many there is not time, and the network news is the only news even though it may not be news at all but only a series of flashing fictions...
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-Gore Vidal, The Decline and Fall of the American Empire
Men
Engrave this Quote There is hardly an American male of my generation who has not at one time or another tried to master the victory cry of the great ape as it issued from the androgynous chest of Johnny Weissmuller, to the accompaniment of thousands of arms and legs snapping during attempts to swing from tree to tree in the backyards of the Republic.
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-Gore Vidal
Opportunity
Engrave this Quote Never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.
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-Gore Vidal
Photography
Engrave this Quote For half a century, photography has been the art form of the untalented. Obviously some pictures are more satisfactory than others, but where is credit due? To the designer of the camera? To the finger on the button? To the law of averages?
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-Gore Vidal
Population
Engrave this Quote Think of the earth as a living organism that is being attacked by billions of bacteria whose numbers double every forty years. Either the host dies, or the virus dies, or both die.
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-Gore Vidal
Power
Engrave this Quote It is difficult to find a reputable American historian who will acknowledge the crude fact that a Franklin Roosevelt, say, wanted to be President merely to wield power, to be famed and to be feared. To learn this simple fact one must wade through a sea of
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-Gore Vidal
Praise
Engrave this Quote Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences.
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-Gore Vidal

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