Palimpsest: A Memoir

By Gore Vidal

This explosively exciting memoir abounds in gossip, satire, ancient apercus, and trenchant observations. Vidal's compelling narrative weaves from side to side in time, supplying an entire view of the author's celebrated existence, from his beginning in 1925 to at the present time, and contours a solid of memorable characters—including the Kennedy relatives, Marlon Brando, Anais Nin, and Eleanor Roosevelt.

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Have been so alike as to be interchangeable to boot. i don't comprehend if a wish to be a dual is a typical one or if this sort of longing may perhaps run in households, psychically in addition to genetically. My grandmother Gore misplaced her dual at start, and it required no uncanny wisdom of the human middle for the relations to determine that after she took over the duty of being not just spouse yet eyes to a blind husband, she had present in him her long-lost dual. nonetheless, i used to be rather happy to be an in simple terms baby. Later, I obtained quite a few step- and part brothers and sisters, yet I by no means particularly knew any of them, in view that i used to be long past for reliable at seventeen-into the military and to all these different worlds in other places. while I watched The Prince and the Pauper the 1st time, i wished to be now not one yet . Lonely young ones frequently have imaginary playmates, ECENTLY, I LECTURED AT HARVARD Jimmie Trimble as he seemed the final time I observed him, after we have been seventeen, in 1942. What i used to be now not, he was once, and the opposite direction round. the need and the Succesiful Pursuit of the total • 25 yet i used to be by no means lonely-! was once solitary, and sought after no corporation in any respect except books and flicks, and my very own mind's eye. A adolescence wish to be a dual doesn't appear to me to be narcissistic within the vulgar Freudian experience. finally, one is oneself; and the opposite, different. it's the type of likeness that makes for wholeness, and is it now not that look for likeness, that hope and pursuit of the whole-as Plato has Aristophanes remark-that is the root of all love? As not anyone has ever truly came across ideal wholeness in one other man or woman, irrespective of of what intercourse, the dual is the nearest that possible ever come towards human wholeness with one other; and-dare one invoke biology and the foundation of our species? -back folks mammals doomed to die when we have procreated, there's continually our sexless ancestor the amoeba, which by no means dies because it doesn't reproduce sexually yet merely-serenely? breaks in and identically replicates. besides, i assumed Billy and Bobby Mauch have been lovable as a couple of bug's ears, and that i needed I have been both of them-one of them, brain you. I definitely didn't wish to be of me, as one appeared good enough to head round even in so exaggerated a relations. but doubleness has continually interested me, as mirrors do, as filmed pictures do. i've got learn habitual subject in my paintings is doubleness or duplicity. if that is so, I see now the place it could actually have-unconsciously, at least-begun. In imy case, it used to be after I observed the movie that I observed my different part in Jimmie Trimble. It was once suggestion top through Nina that I board throughout the week at St Albans, an all-boys' university close to Washington's cathedral. i used to be allowed to return "home" on weekends. At midterm, Jimmie turned a boarder. We have been neighbors instantly. i used to be one week older than he. We have been an identical peak and weight. He had light blue eyes; mine have been light brown. He had the hunter-athlete's farsightedness; I had the writer-reader's myopic imaginative and prescient. i used to be blond, with immediately hair. He used to be blond, with curly hair.

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