In Memoriam Gore Vidal

In Memoriam Gore Vidal


De Amerikaanse schrijver, dramaticus en essayist Gore Vidal is gisteren op 86-jarige leeftijd overleden. Gore Vidal werd geboren op 3 oktober 1925 in West Point, New York. Zie ook mijn blog van 3 oktober 2010 en eveneens alle tags voor Gore Vidal op dit blog.


Uit: The City and the Pillar


„One by one, great stars appeared. Jim was perfectly contented, loneliness no longer turning in the pit of his stomach, sharp as a knife. He always thought of unhappiness as the “tar sickness.” When tar roads melted in the summer, he used to chew the tar and get sick. In some obscure way he had always associated “tar sickness” with being alone. No longer.

    Bob took off his shoes and socks and let the river cool his feet. Jim did the same.

    “I’ll miss all this,” said Bob for the dozenth time, absently putting his arm around Jim’s shoulders.

    They were very still. Jim found the weight of Bob’s arm on his shoulders almost unbearable: wonderful but unbearable. Yet he did not dare move for fear the other would take his arm away. Suddenly Bob got to his feet. “Let’s make a fire.”

In a burst of activity, they built a fire in front of the cabin. Then Bob brought the blankets outside and spread them on the ground.

    “There,” he said, looking into the yellow flames, “that’s done.” For a long moment both stared into the hypnotically quivering flames, each possessed by his own private daydream. Bob’s dream ended first. He turned to Jim. “Come on,” he said menacingly. “I’ll wrestle you.”

    They met, grappled, fell to the ground. Pushing and pulling, they fought for position; they were evenly matched, because Jim, though stronger, would not allow Bob to lose or to win. When at last they stopped, both were panting and sweating. They lay exhausted on the blanket.

    Then Bob took off his shirt and Jim did the same. That was better. Jim mopped the sweat from his face while Bob stretched out on the blanket, using his shirt for a pillow. Firelight gleamed on pale skin. Jim stretched out beside him. “Too hot,” he said. “Too hot to be wrestling.”

    Bob laughed and suddenly grabbed him. They clung to one another. Jim was overwhelmingly conscious of Bob’s body. For a moment they pretended to wrestle. Then both stopped. Yet each continued to cling to the other as though waiting for a signal to break or to begin again. For a long time neither moved. Smooth chests touching, sweat mingling, breathing fast in unison.

    Abruptly, Bob pulled away. For a bold moment their eyes met. Then, deliberately, gravely, Bob shut his eyes and Jim touched him, as he had so many times in dreams, without words, without thought, without fear. When the eyes are shut, the true world begins.

    As faces touched, Bob gave a shuddering sigh and gripped Jim tightly in his arms. Now they were complete, each became the other, as their bodies collided with a primal violence, like to like, metal to magnet, half to half and the whole restored.

    So they met. Eyes tight shut against an irrelevant world. A wind warm and sudden shook all the trees, scattered the fire’s ashes, threw shadows to the ground.

    But then the wind stopped. The fire went to coals. The trees were silent. No comets marked the dark lovely sky, and the moment was gone. In the fast beat of a double heart, it died.“


Gore Vidal (3 oktober 1925 – 31 juli 2012)