Saturday, November 17, 2012

Gore Vidal's Old House

By Mary Jo McConahay

In later years...President Theodore Roosevelt's daughter, Alice Longworth, congratulated me every time we saw each other: "You got out. So wise."
"Reflections on Glory Reflected,"
-- Gore Vidal, United States: Essays 1952-1992

The day Gore Vidal died rain fell hard on the roof of his old house alongside the ruins of Our Lady of Carmen in Antigua, Guatemala. Braids of thick plaster twisted gracefully around chipped columns, dripping after the downpour that signaled the end of the canicula. Those golden weeks of sun and hummingbirds in the midst of the rainy season were over.
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"Anais Nin visited her dear friend Gore in this house, even nursed him through a near-fatal case of hepatitis caught eating from pots in the market..."

"The day Vidal died, I stood on the curb across the wide street and considered the rich life in the author's house at the beginning of his career: sex, politics, the magical work of writing..."

 "You need only read him to see he understands the concept of "empire," because he lived in an outland of the American imperium..."

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