‘Book Review’ Editor and a ‘Minor Manhattan Academic’ Get GoredBack in 1999, Fred Kaplan, the author of Gore Vidal: A Biography, told Salon that after the biography came out, he continued to enjoy a “relatively stable rapport” with his subject; the two even appeared on a panel together that year. But my, how things have changed! In her November article in the Times Book Review on the relationships between biographers and their subjects, Review editor Rachel Donadio referred to their “bitter falling-out,” largely due to the fact, Kaplan claimed, that although Vidal had asked him to write the book, he got pissed when Kaplan wouldn’t let him see the final manuscript, which, according to Kaplan, touched on Vidal’s “narcissistic egomania, his fascination with celebrity, his need to be in the spotlight, his evasion from serious self-analysis, that kind of thing … but not in a judgmental way.” Well, of course not. Anyway, this version of the story didn’t sit well with Vidal, who responded with a letter to the editor in this week’s Review so scathing, rambling, and gleefully insane that we can practically see the note that must have prefaced it, something like “IF YOU ARE GOING TO PRINT THIS PRINT IT EXACTLY LIKE I WROTE IT YOU BASTARDS.” Highlights include a reference to the bio as a “sacred project” and descriptions of Kaplan as “a minor Manhattan academic” or “at best slightly below the mediocre, flailing and giggling about and telling lies,” and worse. “How did I get involved with someone so undistinguished?” he asks, rhetorically.
in other news
Except for at Bloomberg, It’s Not Easy Being GreenAnother day, another company going green: Today it’s Bloomberg LP (which, frankly, was a bit of a surprise; we’d assumed Mike’s moneymaker has long been running on, oh, let’s say discarded trans fats). It was only a matter of time, then, before we’d see some sort of backlash from the “traditional” utility forces. In California, L.A.’s Department of Water & Power (yes, the corporate villain of Chinatown) has pulled the plug on Gore Vidal’s home solar-power plant, literally ripping out the wires and taking down the panels. Supposedly the system was improperly installed; now Vidal is back on the grid like a good little customer.
This Movie Is Innnsaaane!Danny DeVito is trying to make a movie about Crazy Eddie. One of Lindsay Lohan’s MySpace friends sold online correspondence between Lohan and Samantha Ronson to Star magazine. Philip Roth complained about showing up in “Page Six.” Jane staffers stole a lot of stuff from the fashion closet after learning the mag was folding. Former Jets QB Boomer Esiason may replace Don Imus as WFAN’s early-morning D.J. Gore Vidal is annoyed that Los Angeles Department of Water and Power tore out his solar-power system. Congressman Charlie Rangel is offering $1,000 to anyone who can prove he went on a “date.” Today show contributor Amy Jacobson was fired from her Chicago post after being caught on tape in a bikini at the house of a woman whose disappearance she was covering. Gisele and Tom Brady PDA’d at Palma on Cornelia Street. 50 Cent canoodled with Ciara.