Point to Point Navigation
POINT TO POINT NAVIGATION refers to a form of navigation Gore Vidal resorted to as a first mate in the navy during World War II. As he says, 'As I was writing this account of my life and times since PALIMPSEST, I felt as if I were again dealing with those capes and rocks in the Bering Sea that we had to navigate so often with a compass made inoperable by weather.' It is a beautifully apt analogy for the hazards eluded (mostly) during his eventful life. From his desks in Ravello and the Hollywood Hills, Gore Vidal travels in memory through the arenas of literature, television, film, theatre, politics, and international society, recounting achievements and defeats, friends and enemies made (and on a number of occasions lost). Among the gathering of notables to be found in these pages, Tennessee Williams, Eleanor Roosevelt, Orson Welles, Greta Garbo, and Francis Ford Coppola. Some of the book's most moving pages are devoted to the illness and death of his partner of five decades, Howard Austen, and indeed the book is, among other things, a meditation on mortality, written in the spirit of Montaigne.