Source of Gore Vidal quote about writing
July 25, 2013 11:23 AM   Subscribe

Can anyone help me identify the original source of this Gore Vidal quote? "Write what you know’ will always be excellent advice for those who ought not to write at all. Write what you think, what you imagine, what you suspect. That is the only way out of the dead end of the Serious Novel which so many ambitious people want to write and no one on earth wants to read." Have been Googling for a while without any luck.
posted by steinsaltz to Writing & Language (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It appears in three collections of his essays, according to a Google Book search.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2013

It appears to be available in one of the essays in:

Vidal, Gore (1983), The Second American Revolution and Other Essays(1976-82), New York: Vintage

If you search Google Books, it's on page 131, but not enough of it is there to actually get to the name of the essay. Getting the book physically ought to get you there.
posted by brainmouse at 11:33 AM on July 25, 2013

I think it’s from a 1980 essay entitled Thomas Love Peacock: The Novel of Ideas, which is included in United States: Essays 1952-1992.
posted by misteraitch at 11:34 AM on July 25, 2013

Best answer: Wikiquote says it's from Vidal's essay "Thomas Love Peacock: The Novel of Ideas"
posted by amyms at 11:35 AM on July 25, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks. Somehow the way I searched was only bringing up quotes from inspirational Chicken Soup books.
posted by steinsaltz at 11:46 AM on July 25, 2013

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