Gove Vidal's "Inventions"

Gore Vidal's "Inventions"

Finland, 1976
Netherlands, 1975
Italy, 1984
Germany, 1985
Spain, 1985

Vidal published his first "invention," Myra Breckinridge, in 1968 with no fanfare. Myra so shocked the literary world and the nation that she has her own page of covers. Since then, Vidal has published four more inventions, which he cites among his favorite creations. They are: Myron (1974), Duluth (1983), Live from Golgotha (1992) and The Smithsonian Institution (1998). It seems unlikely that he'll publish another. Around the world, depictions of these books have been mostly similar but occasionally different than the norm. The sexy Finnish Myron above fits the book, whereas the contemplative Dutch edition does not. Duluth is a parody of American life and culture, just as these editions suggest.

FEATURED PAGE: A slide show of covers from Vidal's inventions

The religion-themed Live from Golgotha (below) invites Christian imagery. But the book also involves time travel and, like Duluth, media satire, as the German edition suggests. The Smithsonian Institution picks up the notion of time travel and combines it with bizarre fantasy: In a wax museum, historical figures come to life and interact with the novel's young protagonist. The French cover plays on the vivification of characters from American history, while the Hungarian covers suggests that T, the story's hero, goes back in time to attempt to change the course of at least one life in World War II.

Brazil, 1994
Italy, 1994
Hungary, 1994
France, 1998
Hungary, 2002

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