Gore Vidal

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Gore Vidal

Gore Vidal Signed First Edition – The City and the Pillar - 1948

SIGNED FIRST EDITION of Gore Vidal’s landmark work, The City and the Pillar. Second printing in very good condition.

The City and the Pillar is the third published novel by American writer and essayist Gore Vidal written in 1946 and published on January 10, 1948. The story is about a young man who is coming of age and discovers his own homosexuality.

The City and the Pillar is significant because it is recognized as the first post-World War II novel whose openly gay and well-adjusted protagonist is not killed off at the end of the story for defying social norms. It is also recognized as one of the “definitive war-influenced gay novels,” being one of the few books dealing directly with male homosexuality. In addition, it was among the few gay novels reprinted in inexpensive paperback from as early as the 1950s.

Gore Vidal in 1948
Gore Vidal in 1948 when he published
The City and the Pillar

One major theme is the portrayal of the homosexual man as both normal and masculine. Gore set out to break the mold of novels that up until The City and the Pillar depicted homosexuals as transvestites, lonely bookish boys, or feminine. Gore purposely makes his protagonist a strong athlete to challenge superstitions about sex in the United States. To further this theme Vidal wrote the novel in plain, objective prose in order to convey and document reality.

Gore Vidal (1925-2012) is an American novelist, screenwriter, playwright, essayist, short story writer, actor and politician. Early in his career he wrote the ground-breaking The City and the Pillar (1948), which outraged mainstream critics as one of the first major American novels to feature unambiguous homosexuality. By such actions as his voluminous essays and a public debate with William F. Buckley Jr., Vidal has long been known as one of the most prominent public intellectuals of the 20th century.

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