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Two Sisters is Gore Vidal's fictional memoir of a love affair with a beautiful set of twins in post-war Paris - a story skilfully interwoven with notebooks, diaries and the vivid fragment of a screenplay set in ancient Greece. In seductive settings from a brothel in a Parisian backstreet to the rooftops of seventies Rome, Vidal assembles his characters, real and imagined: Cocteau and Tennessee Williams, Gide and Mailer rub shoulders with creations as unforgettable as the ageing femme fatale Marietta Donegal and Hollywood hustler and flagellant Murray Morris. All are bound together in a mesmerising fiction that builds to an extraordinary conclusion.
TW SISTERS GORE VIMI. Bestselling author of Myra B reckinridge 586 03693 8 After Myra Breckinridge*, no-one.should need rem inding th a t Gore Vidal is an unsurpassed master of the art of elegant outrage. In Two Sisters he has taken as his theme one of the most taboo areas of human sexuality and created a deft, sophisticated novel in which truth and fiction are scandalously blended to devastating effect. ‘Witty, civilised, ferocious . . . polished and entertaining’ Sunday M irro r ‘ Highly
and second courtyards. Greeks and Persians mingle. Music plays. Helena sits on a marble throne in the second o f the two courts, gravely receiv ing guests. At her side stands Lysander, carefully repeating the names of those who wish to be presented as if dictating one of his histories to a more than usually slow-witted secretary. I was glad that you turned to me. I was glad that you knew I was the only one you could depend on, no matter what happened. h e r o s t r a t u s ’s v o ic e
particularly like h e r o s t r a t u s ’ s v o i c e You wondered what I did. h elen a 57 T'he City ofEphesus Herostratus moves through crowded streets and narrow lanes* At various points he meets men. One stands at the base o f the water clock in the Agora. Another waits in an arcade. A third works metal in a shop. They exchange only a few words with Herostratus who moves on quickly, warily, as though he fears detection. h er o st r a t u s’s v o ic e Now you know. Now everyone knows. The
asked me i f I believed in possession? I am afraid I know. It is very like her to want to believe that the spirit o f Herostratus possessed Eric in order to appear as a character in a film to be produced by Murray Mor ris in 1948. Certainly the unspeakable Herostratus would be quite capable of wanting to be heard from again but Eric strikes me as a most unlikely medium. Admittedly he must have had something of Herostratus in him or he could not have written the character the way he did. But then
marvels yet to be revealed involving, oh, crucially 1 continuation of personality after death. And I feel a villain whenever I say that there are plenty more where we came from (even Eric suspected as much), while the end of the whole race is now not only possible, but probably at hand. Yet to say such things is to be thought cruel, and certain to evoke the response o f the wife in Gide’s Immoralist when, at her urging, the husband describes his pederastic life, and she cries, ‘How dare you tell