Sunday, May 25, 2008

Of Disdain and Sensuality

He speaks with an archaic, aesthetic tone that can be contagious: there's hardly an interview in his cuttings file where he doesn't elicit the word "exquisite".He used to delight in exhausting interviewers, unused to the debilitating sunshine of the Amalfi coast, with the arduous climb to his idyllic property. Here in his living-room, Vidal's limited mobility, along with the subdued lighting, the walls hung with stately oil paintings, and a carefully arranged display of lilies, lend a certain melancholy to proceedings. But neither age nor bereavement have dimmed his waspish intelligence; he still exudes the sense that he will not suffer fools – or, in a certain mood, anybody else – gladly." Asked whether his first romantic encounter was homosexual or heterosexual, Vidal replied that he had been "too polite to ask".

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