Gore Vidal and George Plimpton at Phillips Exeter Academy

“Gore Vidal was a class ahead of me. He was so persuaded of his own abilities way back then that he sent in his own pieces to the school’s literary magazine, the Review, signing them with a fictitious name, perhaps that of a first year boy who lived in Dunbar, and then sat at the editorial meeting glorying in the praise heaped by the other editors on what was actually his own work (‘Who is this kid?’). Vidal later read a long, epic free-verse saga of mine about being lost in the Exeter woods one night, far beyond the river. Although the other editors dismissed it out of hand, he wrote me a note or spoke to me about it–a faint note of praise, but it was like a thunderclap from above.”

George Plimpton, “Exeter Remembered” The Man in the Flying Lawn Chair and other Excursions and Observations, Random House, 2004.

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