I was so sad to hear about the death of Gore Vidal last weekend. This interview in the Guardian on Saturday had me chuckling and re-enforced what a wonderful, and often bonkers, rude, randy and prickly man he could be. Now, Jonathan Katz has had a dig around his archive and published some wonderful material relating to Vidal.
In 1982 historian Jonathan Ned Katz initiated a correspondence with Gore Vidal that lasted, intermittently, until 2001. To mark the death of Vidal on July 31, 2012, OutHistory.org is reproducing the texts of Vidal’s brief, humorous thirteen letters to Katz, often on the theme of heterosexuality and, sometimes, homosexuality. The publication also includes descriptions of Katz’s thirteen letters and his accounts of a telephone call from Vidal, and one meeting with him. Commenting on Katz’s efforts to recover the history of same-sex and different-sex intimate relations, in one late letter Vidal exhorts: “Keep the war going” (Vidal to Katz, postmarked ?-18-1996). OutHistory also includes the publication of the essay that Katz first sent to Vidal, “Melville’s Secret Sex Text” (about the novel Redburn), that initiated their correspondence.