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Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Can you help me out...?

I want to include a certain quote in a non-bloggy thing that I'm scribbling. The quote is this:

"Of all my fictional creations, Richard Nixon is the most nearly autonomous." -- Gore Vidal.

The trouble is, I'm not sure that those are the exact words. I can't recall where Vidal said it -- I think it was in a Nation essay published in the late 1980s. Maybe Esquire. The internet contains no trace of this quote, and I can't find it in the Vidal books on my shelves.

Did Vidal actually say those words, or has memory played one of its pranks? Does anyone else recall this quote?
I struck out in my limited efforts to find your answer. The closest I came is the following sentence, from a December 2008 NYRoB review by Jonathan Raban ("The Prodigious Pessimist") of "The Selected Essays of Gore Vidal". The review was reprinted at the Powell Books website:

"It wasn't until around 1970 that the Nixon administration gave him [Vidal] a target commensurate with his capacity for scorn, and the character of "Gore Vidal," possibly his best fictional creation, sprang fully to life, as Vidal took on Nixon himself and such Nixonian figures -- prize dunces all -- as Walter Annenberg, E. Howard Hunt, and Howard Hughes."

I don't think that's what you want, but as I said, it's the closest thing I could find.

Happy (continued) Hunting!
I've heard this quote attributed to Hunter Thompson as well. So, dunno.
I looked for half an hour and could not find anything close to what you were looking for.

I did however find a cool quote from Gore Vidal that I have put on my Parallel Foreclosure Blog.

"What we have in this country is socialism for the rich,
and free enterprise for the poor."
- Gore Vidal

I think the Hunter S. Thompson angle may be worth pursuing.
The first reply had the wrong link, so I resubmitted it again with the right link. You don't have to post either this response or the first one, just the middle one if you don't mind.
Ah, thanks for the help. Now that I think on it, I believe that this was published in an Esquire article circa 1991-92.
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