— July 30, 2010 —
Using his modern interpretation of the original Proust Questionnaire, Jefferson Hack uncovers the true mindsets of his peers
Gore Vidal Photography by David BennettIn the next of our series of questionnaires, we step inside the mind of one of the most prolific academic, political and literary thinkers of our generation; author, playwright, essayist, screenwriter and political activist, Gore Vidal. Now 85, Gore shows no signs of slowing down, recently travelling to Istanbul for Liberatum's Istancool festival where AnOther caught up with him.
What are you thinking of right now?
I’m thinking of a lovely house in France.
What makes you laugh?
The thought that a house can make any difference to anything.
What makes you cry?
The death of potential citizens in wars that our rulers want to wage.
What do you consider to be the greatest invention?
It is yet to come.
Do you have a mentor or inspirational figure that has guided or influenced you?
Where do you feel the most at home?
Where are you right now?
Close to sleep.
What is your proudest achievement in work?
That I have never killed anyone.
What is your proudest achievement in life?
That I have never killed someone despite provocation.
What do you most dislike about contemporary culture?
The fact that it does not exist.
What do you most like about the age we live in?
At what points do life and work intersect?
Every time I pick up my pen.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
I was not listening.
What is the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
To be myself.
Recommend a book or poem that has changed your perspective on life.
The Peloponnesian war.
What is your earliest childhood memory?
Being unable to recall my memories.
What’s the most important relationship in your life?
With my pen.
What’s the most romantic action you’ve taken?
I enlisted in WWII.
What’s the most spiritual action you’ve taken?
I wrote the life story of Julian.
If you could wish for one change in the world what would it be?
To find a new human race.