Dispatches from Boston on Interesting People, Places and Events

The Weirdest Moments of the Vidal-Mailer Feud

In Literary Feuds, New York Individualists, Writers on June 8, 2011 at 12:44 am

Reconciled: Mailer, Vidal and Kurt Vonnegut photographed in May 2003 for Vanity Fair

Before the 1971 Cavett show taping, Vidal and Mailer met in the green room as they waited to go on. According to Mailer’s memoir The Time of Our Time (Random House, 1998), he admits to head-butting Vidal. Mailer had read somewhere that a head butt robbed one of the ability to form clear thoughts for 20 minutes. As the footage posted yesterday shows, it did not work.

In 1977, Mailer threw a drink at Vidal and punched him. ¬†On the ground, Vidal famously remarked, “As usual, words fail him.”

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  1. I love these — “in the zone” with the literary duelists~~

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