This is a sad moment for me, and truly the end of an era. Gore Vidal is dead at the age of 86. It somehow seems too soon, and I don't feel prepared. I can't fit into one short post how influential this man has been to me, he is one of the few writers I have felt close to through their work alone. His ability to move effortlessly between the worlds of fact, history, politics, social commentary and fiction was inspiring, even if that fiction was somewhat brittle and sharp in the mouth. His essays have been a source of great joy and stimulation, particularly his writings on politics, many of which marked the distinctive imperial contours of the 'American century'.
The world has lost a rare polymath and a world of knowledge and experience dies with him. I cannot see that he has any successors, and I despair that there is one less authoritative progressive voice in the world, although he would undoubtedly chafe at the label.
Mr. Gore Vidal: Rest in peace.