Re: RARA-AVIS: Pauline Kael and Pancake

From: Mario Taboada (
Date: 05 Oct 2003


Mario, ever seen Gore Vidal's comments when interviewed for

Ken Burns' biographical documentary of Thomas Jefferson? They're hilarious. It's pretty clear that he's still trying to atone for switching the basic characters/personalities of Jefferson and his megalomaniac vice president, Aaron Burr, in his novel, "Burr," and he does that by waxing rhapsodic about the golden qualities of our third president.>>

I saw it. Vidal thinks he knows everything. He was a soldier, therefore he knows how the military should be run. He wrote some scripts, therefore he knows what scriptwriters should do, and so on. He's brilliant, but he must be taken in small doses.

That said, his literary essays are terrific. I recall memorable ones on Frank Baum and the Oz saga, and on Dawn Powell (also, on Edgar Rice Burroughs). He has written some of the funniest lines about literary critics, too.

Strange, annoying guy, but when he hits, he hits hard.



"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." Mark Twain

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