janan.ganesh@ft.com American Writer comments on Gore Vidal’s ‘distasteful views’.

Mr. Ganesh’s forgettable political chatter is rescued from the territory of the jejune by his attack on his literary/political better Gore Vidal . Not the ‘Sage of Amalfi’ but ‘The Patrician Rebel’ who was almost a big a snob as our Posh Boy!

Mr Pompeo this week said that “endless wars are the direct result of weakness”, unconsciously recalling Gore Vidal’s screed against militarists, Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace.

Vidal was a polemicist, so ‘screed’ is the lowest form of insult to one its the masters of the genre

Pure isolationism, of the kind that still regrets US entry into the world wars, did not outlive Vidal, and did not deserve to either. It tended to pair easily with some distasteful views and the Sage of Amalfi was not above them.

Ganesh attributes ‘distasteful views’ to Vidal, while leaving this as free-floating, or even an instance of common knowledge, without the requisite examples-this passes for ‘argument’? Or call it what it is the purest kind of hyperbole. Mr. Ganesh is a writer whose acidulous commentaries can’t quite meet the standard set by Vidal’s Collected Essays!

American Writer




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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