By Gore Vidal
In a witty and chic autobiography that takes up the place his bestelling Palimpsest left off, the distinguished novelist, essayist, critic, and controversialist Gore Vidal displays on his extraordinary life.Writing from his desks in Ravello and the Hollywood Hills, Vidal travels in reminiscence in the course of the arenas of literature, tv, movie, theatre, politics, and foreign society the place he has reduce a large swath, recounting achievements and defeats, neighbors and enemies made (and occasionally lost). From encounters with, among others, Jack and Jacqueline Kennedy, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Johnny Carson, Francis Ford Coppola to the mournful passing of his longtime companion, Howard Auster, Vidal consistently steers his narrative with grace and aptitude. exciting, provocative, and sometimes relocating, Point to indicate Navigation splendidly captures the lifetime of considered one of twentieth-century America's most vital writers.
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In a witty and stylish autobiography that takes up the place his bestelling Palimpsest left off, the prestigious novelist, essayist, critic, and controversialist Gore Vidal displays on his notable lifestyles. Writing from his desks in Ravello and the Hollywood Hills, Vidal travels in reminiscence during the arenas of literature, tv, movie, theatre, politics, and overseas society the place he has reduce a large swath, recounting achievements and defeats, neighbors and enemies made (and occasionally lost).
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The reason why he was called ‘le Chaucer’ does not appear. fm Page 30 Monday, August 21, 2000 11:25 AM 30 THE WORLD OF CHAUCER A fourteenth century leather shoe which may be seen in the Museum of London person has moved from his place of origin (like Andrew de Dinnington or Robert of Ipswich); and trade names, like Brewer or, probably, Chaucer, which show your occupation and that you are neither gentry nor a common labourer. Chaucer seems to be the French name for shoemaker. Robert le Chaucer, if a shoemaker (which was quite a distinguished craft) must also have run a number of lines of other business, like many a successful fourteenth-century merchant, among which that derived from his father the taverner, improved to vintner, was probably the most profitable and with the most social prestige.
On the other hand, the romances in English of the fourteenth century are notably decent, and the brutally shocking, often perverted, sexuality of modern literature was certainly never attempted. fm Page 47 Monday, August 21, 2000 11:26 AM A FOURTEENTH-CENTURY CHILDHOOD fourteenth century it seems rather to have been ‘good clean dirt’. It is quite likely that Geoffrey’s father had a book or two, miscellanies of religious instruction, romances, medical remedies, etc. There is a famous manuscript in the National Library of Scotland called the Auchinleck Manuscript which was written somewhere in London about 1340–5 and which has been thought by some scholars to have been known to Chaucer himself.
He was aware of their glamour, especially of chivalric ceremonial, yet could not help noticing the individual jealousies and reluctances under the surface of ritual social unity. He was moved more by the newer rather sentimental piety of the age which found its chief expression, for him, in the worship of the Virgin Mary, which I imagine reflected a domestic tenderness in his own life, and the new urban development of bourgeois family affectionateness, which was still not common in those harsh times.