Wednesday, December 13, 2006

McMurtry on Vidal

I draw your attention to Larry McMurtry's review of the new (and second) volume of memoirs by Gore Vidal, Point to Point Navigation: A Memoir, 1964 to 2006, in the November 30 issue of the New York Review of Books. I love the NYRB, but in particular I never miss anything by McMurtry or by Russell Baker, both brilliant and funny writers. Speaking of brilliant and funny writers, here the topic is Gore Vidal, one of America's most important writers who is now in advanced age and intimating mortality, apparently doggedly writing which comes as no surprise. McMurtry does a fine and sensitive job of conveying some of the elegiac spirit of the work, all the better coming from reviewer and author neither one of whom is known for delicate sensibilities. Anyway, let me get out of the way so you can follow McMurtry's advice to Amazon, and I quote: "But the best of the writing is much more telling than the Personality - or any Personality, is likely to be. I refer particularly to Julian, to Homage to Daniel Shays, and to the excellent Messiah, a book that's not remotely had its due," and further on, "In my opinion Palimpsest is about as good a literary memoir as we have." Well there you have it.

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