ROMULUS—WHAT I HOLD AGAINST GORE VIDAL. Mary Jane saw yesterday’s post and commented; “You’ve always had something against Gore Vidal.” I do. It goes way back. The first Broadway play I saw—on my first trip to New York—was Gore Vidal’s Romulus. It was a huge disappointment. It seemed promising—a play about the last emperor of Rome (Romulus Augustulus, who was deposed in 476)—giving a writer like Vidal the opportunity to write about history and empire and loss.
Thanks to Google, I have found this essay by Vidal about his play, published in Esquire in May, 1962. The essay is full of insights, and confirms that Vidal was well-suited to making Romulus a very good play. I now think that perhaps I have been blaming the wrong person.