Though it took Page 6 an entire week to find this tidbit from the Observer’s Robert McCrum, I can truly say that’s better than my taking a week and 12 hours.

When I murmur something about Terre Haute, a new play by Edmund White which dramatises a fictional encounter between the writer and the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, Gore Vidal merely growls, ‘Edmund White will yet be feeling the wrath of my lawyers.’ Where once he might have revelled in going the distance with another writer, now he seems surprisingly hurt by the treacherous ways of the creative community. ‘It’s unethical and vicious to make it very clear that this old faggot writer is based on me, and that I’m madly in love with Timothy McVeigh, who I never met.’ He adds, tetchily, that he doesn’t want to be ‘lumped together with Mailer and Capote. They both went for murderers, and I don’t go for murderers.’