Vidal Gore. PALIMPSEST: A MEMOIR. New York City, NY: Random House, 1995. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 435 pages. As New/As New.

The author's debut memoir. One of the greatest American memoirs of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions. Published in a small and limited first print run as a hardcover original only that sold out shortly after publication. The First Edition is now rare. The translucent glassine DJ with bold titles imprinted over it makes the photograph underneath remain visible while concealing it at the same time, a brilliant realization of the memoir's "palimpsest" motif. Presents Gore Vidal's "Palimpsest". The first volume in his memoir trilogy, which continues with "Point To Point Navigation" (2006), and concludes with "Snapshots In History's Glare" (2009). One of the most beautifully written, lyrical, and moving memoirs by an American author ever written, there are many funny, sad, witty, and bittersweet stories in Vidal's remembrance. Gore Vidal's bravura technique of overlapping narratives enthralls as much as the stories themselves. He recounts one story, then another, digresses into yet another, and then goes back to the earlier story from another perspective, demonstrating that the truth, unlike science or knowledge, is subjective and relative, and that the opposite of the truth is also true. The memoir's central narrative is Vidal's romance (and sexual adventures, explicitly re-told) with his first and only love, Jimmie Trimble, who died in Iwo Jima. Trimble was the quintessential All-American golden boy: Blond, blessed, and beautiful. He was engaged to an All-American girl when he began his passionate love affair with the writer (Vidal refuses to use the word "gay" to describe himself, Trimble or their relationship). Trimble's senseless death is the reason Vidal became a lifelong skeptic, a man who has been accused by his enemies of being cold-hearted and incapable of loving, an allegation that Vidal does not think is necessary to dispute, but convincingly demolishes with his memoir. In lesser hands, this would all have flopped into sentimentality within the first few pages. But this is Gore Vidal at the absolute top of his form. Martin Amis, not a big Vidal fan, described the book as "perfect", and called it Vidal's single greatest work. 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 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 great book. 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. It is, quite simply, the single most beautiful copy of the book we have ever seen. Please note: Random House "true first" indications in the 20th century are "First Edition" followed by a number line that begins with 2 (instead of 1), a practice that the publisher did not change until 2005/2006, and even then, on a very inconsistent basis. A rare signed copy thus. Lavishly illustrated with vintage photographs. One of the greatest writers of the 20th century. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER GORE VIDAL TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0679440380. $300.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on July 24, 2017.