The Best Gore Vidal quotes

Gore Vidal quotes thumbnail

If you’re an entrepreneur, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Gore Vidal. He was a renowned writer and public intellectual who made a name for himself with his essays, novels, and plays. But what many people don’t know is that he was also a successful businessman. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Gore Vidal’s life and career as an entrepreneur. We’ll explore his successes and failures, and we’ll see what we can learn from him.

Here are the most inspiring Americans, Writers, Love, President, Writing, Human Beings, Life, World quotes from Gore Vidal, and much more.


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About Gore Vidal

birth of the author

October 3, 1925

death of the author

July 31, 2012

education of the author

Phillips Exeter Academy

occupation of the author

Writer, Essayist, Playwright, Screenwriter, Actor And More.

knownfor of the author

Known For:
The City And The Pillar

political of the author

Political Party:
Democratic People’s Party

movement of the author


residence of the author

Edgewater, Dutchess County, New York 1950-1969 La Rondinaia, Ravello, Italy 1972-2003 Hollywood Hills, California 1977-2012

country of the author

United States

institution of the author

United States Army

date of the author

Years Of Service:

army of the author

Warrant Officer

army of the author

World War Ii


No one can ever love us quite so much as we love ourselves. — Gore Vidal

Love it or loathe it, you can never leave it or lose it. — Gore Vidal

Perfect love sometimes does not come until the first grandchild. — Gore Vidal

The rhetoric of hate is often most effective when couched in the idiom of love. — Gore Vidal

no one can ever love us quite so much as we love ourselves Gore Vidal quote

Can you imagine having a love affair going on and on decade after decade? Macabre. — Gore Vidal

Love is a fan club with only two fans. — Gore Vidal

Love is not my bag. — Gore Vidal

The important thing is not the object of love, but the emotion itself. — Gore Vidal

I can understand companIonshIp. I can understand bought sex In the afternoon. I cannot understand the love affaIr. — Gore Vidal

love it or loathe it you can never leave it or lose it Gore Vidal quote

Love, like a sense of humor, is now claimed by everyone even though Love, like a sense of humor, is rather more rare than not, and to most of us poor muddlers unbearable at full strength. — Gore Vidal

The creation of a work of art, like an act of love, is our one small ‘yes’ at the center of a vast ‘no.’ — Gore Vidal

I liked the trichotomy, that’s the only thing I ever liked. — Gore Vidal


The American vice is explanation. — Gore Vidal

The problem with most Americans is that they don’t like any question that takes more than ten seconds to answer. — Gore Vidal

the american vice is explanation Gore Vidal quote

American writers want to be not good but great; and so are neither. — Gore Vidal

Envy is the central fact of American life. — Gore Vidal

All Americans born between 1890 and 1945 wanted to be movie stars. — Gore Vidal

Friends, there is no Left in American politics. — Gore Vidal


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Americans tend to play different roles, hoping that somehow they’ll stumble on the right one. — Gore Vidal

american writers want to be not good but great and so are neither Gore Vidal quote

Half the American population no longer reads newspapers: plainly, they are the clever half. — Gore Vidal

For the average American freedom of speech is simply the freedom to repeat what everyone else is saying and no more. — Gore Vidal

The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes. — Gore Vidal

That peculiarly American religion, President–worship. — Gore Vidal

Although Americans justify their self–interest in moral terms, their true interest is never itself moral. — Gore Vidal

envy is the central fact of american life Gore Vidal quote

Americans worship the Constitution but do not observe it. — Gore Vidal

I came out of Capitol Hill. Well, that’s just not an ordinary background for a writer of the ordinary American sort. — Gore Vidal

That loyal retainer of the Chase Manhattan Bank, the American president. — Gore Vidal

There are a great many people who have a vested interest in maintaining the stupidity of the American public. — Gore Vidal

Whether he knows it or not, the middle–income American is taxed as though he were living in a socialist society. — Gore Vidal

all americans born between 1890 and 1945 wanted to be movie stars Gore Vidal quote

On 16 September 1985, when the Commerce Department announced that the United States had become a debtor nation, the American Empire died. — Gore Vidal

Teaching has ruined more american novelists than drink. — Gore Vidal

The whole point to American journalism is what ought to be true is true. — Gore Vidal

Any American who is prepared to run for president should automatically, by definition, be disqualified from ever doing so. — Gore Vidal

Obviously I’m in favor of protecting the rights of everybody: gay, black, women, what have you, American Indians. — Gore Vidal

friends there is no left in american politics Gore Vidal quote

I assume that the point of American democracy is you can express any point of view you want. — Gore Vidal

American laws don’t work, but at least the laws of physics might work. — Gore Vidal


We’ve had parallel lives. And frankly, I prefer mine to his. I would not like to be George Bush. — Gore Vidal

I am glad my life is coming to an end. To think that it might last another five hundred years, now that would be terrible, in my case. — Gore Vidal

You cannot deprive somebody of life, liberty, pursuit of happiness, because that is a right–constitutional right. — Gore Vidal

novels except as aids to masturbation play no part in contemporary life Gore Vidal quote

Novels, except as aids to masturbation, play no part in contemporary life. — Gore Vidal

What is there to say, finally, except that pain is bad and pleasure good, life all, death nothing. — Gore Vidal

That my plans have lately gone somewhat awry is the sort of risk one must take if life is to be superb. — Gore Vidal

Since no one can ever know for certain whether or not his own view of life is the correct one, it is absolutely impossible for him to know if someone else’s is the wrong one. — Gore Vidal

If the splitter of hairs has a sharp enough knife, the fact of life itself can be chopped into nothing. — Gore Vidal

the real writer learns nothing from life he is more like an oyster or a sponge Gore Vidal quote

The real writer learns nothing from life. He is more like an oyster or a sponge. — Gore Vidal

It is of no consequence what others think of you. What matters is what you think of them. That is how you live your life. — Gore Vidal

After adolescence, if one’s life is sufficiently interesting, the desire to tell oneself stories diminishes. — Gore Vidal

My family helped start [this country], we’ve been in political life … since the 1690s, and I have a very possessive sense about this country. — Gore Vidal

The true confessors have been aware that not only is life mostly failure, but that in one’s failure or pettiness or wrongness exists the living drama of the self. — Gore Vidal

before the cards that one is dealt by life are the cards that fate has dealt one s family Gore Vidal quote

Before the cards that one is dealt by life are the cards that fate has dealt: one’s family. — Gore Vidal

I was raised in the Washington household of my grandfather Senator Thomas P. Gore of Oklahoma, and have known politicians intimately all my life. — Gore Vidal

I went to Europe to live in 1961. I’d never have written Julian if it hadn’t been for the sequestered life that I led in Rome and the classical library at the America Academy. — Gore Vidal

As I looked back over my life, I realized that I enjoyed nothing––not art, not sex––more than going to the movies. — Gore Vidal

Gentlemen are not supposed to tell the truth about their sex lives, nor are ladies, for that matter. Of course Clinton lied–as would anybody in his position. — Gore Vidal

Both Marx and Christ agree that in this life, a right action is consideration for the welfare of others. — Gore Vidal

I began life as an absolute monarchist–on condition, of course, that I be that monarch. — Gore Vidal

By and large, serious fiction was the work of victims who portrayed victims for an audience of victims who, it was oddly assumed, would want to see their lives realistically portrayed. — Gore Vidal

Redundant Thematics

In Gore Vidal Statements


Sex is. There is nothing more to be done about it. Sex builds no roads, writes no novels and sex certainly gives no meaning to anything in life but itself. — Gore Vidal

You know, I’ve been around the ruling class all my life, and I’ve been quite aware of their total contempt for the people of the country. — Gore Vidal

Most lives are spent putting on and taking off masks. — Gore Vidal


Ideally, the writer needs no audience other than the few who understand that it is immodest and greedy to want more. — Gore Vidal

I was born a writer. When that happens, you have no choice in the matter. — Gore Vidal

In America, the race goes to the loud, the solemn, the hustler. If you think you’re a great writer, you must say that you are. — Gore Vidal

You hear all this whining going on, ‘Where are our great writers?’ The thing I might feel doleful about is: Where are the readers? — Gore Vidal

i was born a writer when that happens you have no choice in the matter Gore Vidal quote

Some writers take to drink, others take to audiences. — Gore Vidal

I have never been particularly impressed by the self centered musings of my fellow writers. — Gore Vidal

Most writers write books that they wouldn’t read. I ought to know; I’ve done it myself. — Gore Vidal

Writers who teach tend to prefer literary theory to literature and tenure to all else. Writers who do not teach prefer the contemplation of Careers to art of any kind. — Gore Vidal

That is sad until one recalls how many bad books the world may yet be spared because of the busyness of writers. — Gore Vidal

some writers take to drink others take to audiences Gore Vidal quote

What matters finally is not the world’s judgment of oneself but one’s own judgment of the world…. Any writer who lacks this final arrogance will not survive very long in America. — Gore Vidal

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. — Gore Vidal

You can’t be both a writer and a politician, at least not a good writer. A writer must always tell the truth as he sees it. And the politician must never give the game away. — Gore Vidal

Each writer is born with a repertory company in his head. Shakespeare has perhaps 20 players. … I have 10 or so, and thats a lot. As you get older, you become more skillful at casting them. — Gore Vidal

Most writers are middle–class and are the children of doctors or lawyers. — Gore Vidal

i have never been particularly impressed by the self centered musings of my fellow writers Gore Vidal quote

When you come from a family that has been political, and I was brought up by my grandfather in the Senate, my father was in Roosevelt’s Cabinet, this is not the class that produces writers or reflective people. — Gore Vidal


To bring into the world an unwanted human being is as antisocial an act as murder. — Gore Vidal

All in all, I would not have missed this century for the world. — Gore Vidal

On the throne of the world, any delusion can become fact. — Gore Vidal

Once people get hung up on theology, they’ve lost sanity forever. More people have been killed in the name of Jesus Christ than any other name in the history of the world. — Gore Vidal

to bring into the world an unwanted human being is as antisocial an act as murder Gore Vidal quote

Instead of finding alternative energy sources, we try to subjugate entire regions of the world. People do not understand that by doing this, the United States are going to absolute ruin. — Gore Vidal

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. — Gore Vidal

Usa is suffering between imperialists and anti–imperialists. That is the situation. The most powerful country in the world is on its way back to the Stone Age. — Gore Vidal

Now the long–feared Asiatic colossus takes its turn as world leader, and we––the white race––have become the yellow man’s burden.Let us hope that he will treat us more kindly than we treated him. — Gore Vidal

World events are the work of individuals whose motives are often frivolous, even casual. — Gore Vidal

all in all i would not have missed this century for the world Gore Vidal quote


Nothing human is finally calculable; even to ourselves we are strange. — Gore Vidal

There is no human problem which could not be solved if people would simply do as I advise. — Gore Vidal

Monotheism is easily the greatest disaster to befall the human race. — Gore Vidal

A superficial education would be worse than none. But a full education would open every man’s eyes to the nature of human existence. — Gore Vidal

To justify and extol human greed and egotism is to my mind not only immoral, but evil. — Gore Vidal

nothing human is finally calculable even to ourselves we are strange Gore Vidal quote

Reality is something the human race doesn’t handle very well. — Gore Vidal

I regard monotheism as the greatest disaster ever to befall the human race. I see no good in Judaism, Christianity, or Islam–good people, yes, but any religion based on a single… — Gore Vidal

Everybody is bisexual, and that is a fact of human nature. Some people practice both, and some practice one thing, and some people practice another thing and that is the way human beings are. — Gore Vidal


In writing and politicking, it’s best not to think about it, just do it. — Gore Vidal

I have no television to go on so I get a lot of writing done. That’s my substitute for television. — Gore Vidal

in writing and politicking it s best not to think about it just do it Gore Vidal quote

I have begun writing what I have said I’d never write, a memoir (‘I am not my own subject,’ I used to say with icy superiority). — Gore Vidal

A talent for drama is not a talent for writing, but is ability to articulate human relationships. — Gore Vidal

I’ve always said, ‘I have nothing to say, only to add.’ And it’s with each addition that the writing gets done. The first draft of anything is really just a track. — Gore Vidal

The first TV babies are now writing with a TV mind that has no attention span at all. — Gore Vidal

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

the first tv babies are now writing with a tv mind that has no attention span at all Gore Vidal quote


Nixon was a Southern Rim President, and so antipathetic to the old guard. — Gore Vidal

Every four years the naive half who vote are encouraged to believe that if we can elect a really nice man or woman President everything will be all right. But it won’t be. — Gore Vidal

Of ex–president eisenhower at the republican convention Of 1964 reading a speech with his usual sense Of discovery. — Gore Vidal

When you are brought up in a zoo, you know what’s going on in the monkey house. You see a couple of monkeys loose and one is President and one is Vice President, you know it’s trouble. Monkeys make trouble. — Gore Vidal

I think there should be a constitutional amendment making it impossible for anyone to be president who believes in an afterlife. — Gore Vidal

nixon was a southern rim president and so antipathetic to the old guard Gore Vidal quote

As the age of television progresses the Reagans will be the rule, not the exception. To be perfect for television is all a President has to be these days. — Gore Vidal

I’d still like to be the President, of course, and I think the best way to do that would be to raise an army and seize the Capital. This strikes me as true democracy. — Gore Vidal

GORE VIDAL Quotes Take Away

Gore Vidal was a brilliant writer and thinker who had some inspiring things to say about writing, creativity, and the human experience. We hope you’ve enjoyed reading these quotes as much as we have. If you’re interested in learning more about creative writing or honing your own skills, be sure to check out our courses page. We offer a variety of online classes that can help you unleash your inner writer and produce work that will make you proud.

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