[Content Note: Rape apologia; transphobia.]
Gore Vidal was a great writer, in the sense that he knew how to craft a fucking sentence. And during his life, he made some very important and interesting observations, about important and interesting things.
But it isn't the elegance of his craft or any of his keen observations that come to mind when I think of the name Gore Vidal.
It is Gore Vidal saying, about his friend Roman Polanski raping a 13-year-old girl: "I really don't give a fuck. Look, am I going to sit and weep every time a young hooker feels as though she's been taken advantage of?"
There are plenty of people who would say I'm being unfair, to overlook a lifetime of work for one comment. To which I can only say that I am offering Mr. Vidal the same contempt in return he had for raped teenage girls, like me.
And that's all I really have to say about that.
Garland has more to say, on the subject of Vidal's rape apologia and his deeply transphobic novel, Myra Breckinridge.