REVIEW: Russell's Reviews Volume One # 9

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at
Mon Mar 3 02:49:31 PST 2008

On Mar 3, 3:42 pm, Tom Russell <milos_par... at> wrote:
> On Mar 3, 1:25 am, Martin Phipps <martinphip... at> wrote:
> > > > [Quoting Buckley]
> > > > > "The man who in his essays proclaims the normalcy of his affliction,
> > > > > and in his art the desirability of it
> > > > Most likely he meant to say "in his heart".
> > > No; he was referring to the writing-- i.e. the art-- of Mr. Vidal.
> > Strange way of putting it then.  If he had said it out loud I would
> > have been sure he meant "heart". :)
> Buckley was differentiating Gore's nonfiction-- his "essays"-- from
> his novels-- his "art".  Some of Vidal's essays-- at least, if one can
> trust Buckley's interpetations of them (I've never been big on Vidal
> myself and so have not read much)-- put forth the (thankfully now-
> accepted) idea that homosexuality is not abnormal; some of his art
> presents homosexuality as being preferred or desirable compared to
> heterosexuality.

I never could stand people trying to speak poetically.  If he was
distnguishing between Vidal's essays and his fiction then why didn't
he say so?  Since when is a well crafted essay not seen as "art"?

Anyway, if I were gay, I'm sure that I would feel the same way as
Vidal.  As a heterosexual, I see myself as normal and, in my own
fiction, I portray heterosexual activity as desirable.  I don't see
the difference.

> It's because Vidal's work "pushes" this whole tolerance thing that
> Buckley considers him a "pusher".

Ah.  To my credit, I couldn't fathom at all what Buckley was talking
about.  Most gay men I see don't seem to be particularly sorrowful to
me,  Indeed, fifty years ago the term "gay" meant something completely
different. :)


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