Vidal, Gore. SCREENING HISTORY. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1992. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 96 pages. Fine/Fine.

Collection of essays on subject. One of the best books on film ever written in our time. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the British Edition, which looks exactly like it. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only by a University Press. The First Edition is now scarce. Presents Gore Vidal's "Screening History". Essays that discuss the influence of the movies on American history and vice versa, with unexpected, Vidalian results. This is film criticism-as-autobiography, autobiography-as-film criticism, in the unique, seamless way that only Gore Vidal (and no other regular film critic) could possibly pull off. "Uses the movies of his youth as the key to an examination of his past. Young Gore's first confrontation with the reality of death occurred in his viewing of a poignant scene from 'The Prince and the Pauper' (1937). He is aware that films and other images from the media can be used to manipulate or define an event for its audience, and he realizes that the image often becomes the reality of that event" (Library Journal). Characterized by wit, insight, and penetrating brilliance, this is a nostalgic valentine to the movies from America's greatest man-of-letters, who was once a Hollywood screenwriter himself, "Ben-Hur" being the most celebrated, "Caligula" being the most controversial, very publicly disowned by him. Vidal's unsurpassed genius as an aphorist makes him our Montaigne, the greatest essayist America has ever produced. It also leads us to take his effortless one-liners at face value when the whole point of the aphorism is to read between the lines. "A narcissist is anyone better-looking than you" (Gore Vidal). Gore Vidal died on July 31, 2012 at the age of 86, the last of the great American public intellectual/writers of our time. We live in the Age of Mediocrity, where (nearly) everyone is a critic/blogger/pundit mouthing timid, politically correct opinions. Pundits are retail thinkers, that is, they are not real thinkers. Someday, we will realize what we have irretrievably lost. An absolute "must-have" title for Gore Vidal collectors. This copy is very prominently and beautifully signed in black pen-marker on the title page by Gore Vidal. It is signed directly on the page itself, not on a tipped-in page. This title is a contemporary classic. This is one of very few such signed copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a pristine beauty. A rare signed copy thus. Recipient of the National Book Award's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 for "Distinguished Contribution to American Letters". One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0674795865. $150.00

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