GORE Vidal never suffered from writer's block and had little patience with anyone who said they did.
His regimen – as befitted someone born at West Point – was military in its adherence to routine. "First coffee. Then a bowel movement. Then the muse joins me," he once said in the tone of a doctor dictating a prescription. He was a man who did not invite contradiction, expecting his statements to be accepted as if they were papal bulls. The self-appointed laureate of the American Empire's rise and fall, as Gibbon was of Rome's, he was imperial in manner and Caesarean in demeanour. What Vidal said went. It wasn't too hard to imagine him in a toga.
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