Gore Vidal Quotes

Most popular Gore Vidal Quotes

A good deed never goes unpunished.
— Gore Vidal


Litigation takes the place of sex at middle age.
— Gore Vidal

middle age

A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.


At full strength, wit is rage made bearable, and useful.
— Gore Vidal


Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies.

competition success jealousy

I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on television.
— Gore Vidal
There is something about a bureaucrat that doesn't like a poem.


For certain people after fifty, litigation takes the place of sex.
— Gore Vidal


Style is knowing who you are, what you want to say, and not giving a damn.
— Gore Vidal


Writing fiction has become a priestly business in countries that have lost their faith.


Before the cards that one is dealt by life are the cards that fate has dealt.  One's family.


Is there another word in the English language quite so useful, so hopeful, so truly pregnant as "yet"?
The creation of a work of art, like an act of love, is our one small "yes" at the center of a vast "no."


As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action.


A satirist is a man profoundly revolted by the society in which he lives. His rage takes the form of wit, ridicule, mockery.
— Gore Vidal


I am an obsessive rewriter, doing one draft and then another and another, usually five. In a way, I have nothing to say, but a great deal to add.
— Gore Vidal

funny writing

I suspect that our own faith in psychiatry will seem as touchingly quaint to the future as our grandparents' belief in phrenology seems now to us.


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.


Altruism is a brief phase through which some adolescents must pass. It is rather like acne. Happily, as with acne, only a few are permanently scarred.


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.

asking questions

Our time's first satirist is Evelyn Waugh.  For thirty years his savagery and wit have given pleasure and alarm.  His mixed dish is . . . all set down in a prose so chaste that at times one longs for a violation of syntax to suggest that its creator is fallible, or at least part American.