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Sources

Great American Writer And Iconoclast, Gore Vidal Dead

NPR, LOS ANGELES TIMES, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, THE NATION, ABC NEWS (USA)

Worldcrunch

Gore Vidal, American author and essayist whose prolific career spanned six decades, died Tuesday at age 86, reports NPR. He died at home from complications of pneumonia.

Translation: Famous novelist, playwright, critic, and politician, Gore Vidal, has died aged 86.

The reading public will remember him as a literary juggernaut who wrote 25 novels — from the historical "Lincoln" to the satirical "Myra Breckinridge" — and volumes of essays critics consider among the most elegant in the English language, writes the Los Angeles Times. He also brought shrewd intelligence to writing Broadway hits, Hollywood screenplays and television dramas says the Los Angeles daily.

Along with contemporaries such as Norman Mailer and Truman Capote, the Chicago Sun-Times remembers, Vidal was part of the last generation of literary writers who were also genuine celebrities — fixtures on talk shows and in gossip columns, personalities of such size and appeal that even those who hadn't read their books knew who they were.

The Chicago newspaper adds that Vidal was widely admired as an independent thinker — in the tradition of Mark Twain and H.L. Mencken — about literature, culture, politics and, as he liked to call it, "the birds and the bees." He picked apart politicians, living and dead; mocked religion and prudery; opposed wars from Vietnam to Iraq and insulted his peers like no other.

Vidal was a great man of letters, an author, playwright and groundbreaking essayist on American literature and the world, writes political blogger and Vidal friend John Nichols in The Nation. He was also a bold and unrelenting challenger of Puritanism, which he regarded as the ugliest of American tendencies.

Nichols remembers his friend as a political champion who ran campains for Congress and who demanded that presidents of both parties be held to account for high crimes and misdemeanors.

The grandson of Democratic Sen. Thomas Gore of Oklahoma, Gore Vidal was in 1960, the Democratic candidate for Congress in an upstate New York district writes ABC News. In 1982, Vidal came in second in the California Democratic senatorial primary, losing to incumbent Governor Jerry Brown.

Vidal never shied away from giving his opinion on subjects, especially politics, relates ABC News. In 1968, Vidal squared off with conservative William F. Buckley prior to the 1968 election, accusing Buckley of being a "crypto-Nazi." Buckley threatened to slap Vidal in the face.

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Society

Sleep Divorce: The Benefits For Couples In Having Separate Beds

Sleeping separately is often thought to be the beginning of the end for a loving couple. But studies show that having permanently separate beds — if you have the space and means — can actually reinforce the bonds of a relationship.

Image of a woman sleeping in a bed.

A woman sleeping in her bed.

BUENOS AIRES — Couples, it is assumed, sleep together — and sleeping apart is easily taken as a sign of a relationship gone cold. But several recent studies are suggesting, people sleep better alone and "sleep divorce," as the habit is being termed, can benefit both a couple's health and intimacy.

That is, if you have the space for it...

While sleeping in separate beds is seen as unaffectionate and the end of sex, psychologist María Gabriela Simone told Clarín this "is not a fashion, but to do with being able to feel free, and to respect yourself and your partner."

She says the marriage bed originated "in the matrimonial duty of sharing a bed with the aim of having sex to procreate." That, she adds, gradually settled the idea that people "who love each other sleep together."

Is it an imposition then, or an overwhelming preference? Simone says intimacy is one thing, sleeping another.

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