Literary Techniques

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The City and the Pillar is written in the same terse Hemingwayesque prose as Vidal's first two novels. This fact may have contributed...

(The entire section is 180 words.)

Social Concerns

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

Although Vidal's two earlier novels had homosexual characters, The City and the Pillar was the first major mainstream novel to present...

(The entire section is 129 words.)


(Masterpieces of American Fiction)

Baker, Susan, and Curtis S. Gibson. Gore Vidal: A Critical Companion. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1997. A biographical sketch precedes a general discussion of Vidal’s early writings, followed by critical discussions of individual novels. The discussions include sections on plot and character development, thematic issues, narrative style, and critical approaches.

Parini, Jay, ed. Gore Vidal: Writer Against the Grain. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. A collection of essays by various critics that covers the important works of Vidal’s career. An essay by Claude J. Summers offers insights into The City and the Pillar as gay fiction.

Vidal, Gore. “The Importance of Being Gore.” Interview by Andrew Kopkind. The Nation 257 (July 5, 1993): 16-19. Vidal discusses the influence of his same-sex orientation on his work. He particularly notes the adverse effect of the publication of The City and the Pillar on his career.

Vidal, Gore. Interview by Jay Parini. The New England Review 14 (Fall, 1991): 93-101. Vidal talks about his career as a novelist and television scriptwriter. He cites writers who have influenced him, including Jonathan Swift and William Golding. He also shares his views on contemporary literary criticism. A revealing interview that offers valuable insight into Vidal’s artistic motivations.

Literary Precedents

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

At this point in Vidal's career, the main influence on his style is clearly Ernest Hemingway. Not only the terse prose but the artless,...

(The entire section is 170 words.)

Related Titles

(Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction)

The sympathetic portrait of homosexuality in the first version of the book, published in 1948, was not at all explicit. By 1968, however,...

(The entire section is 157 words.)