Tom Wolfe, fully Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe

Tom
Wolfe, fully Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe
1931

American Author and Journalist, Influenced the New Journalism Literary Movement, known for The Right Stuff, The Last American Hero, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Almost Heroes

Author Quotes

The newspaper is, in fact, very bad for one's prose style.

There came to him an image of man?s whole life upon the earth. It seemed to him that all man?s life was like a tiny spurt of flame that blazed out briefly in an illimitable and terrifying darkness, and that all man?s grandeur, tragic dignity, his heroic glory, came from the brevity and smallness of this flame. He knew his life was little and would be extinguished, and that only darkness was immense and everlasting. And he knew that he would die with defiance on his lips, and that the shout of his denial would ring with the last pulsing of his heart into the maw of all-engulfing night.

To lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have for greater life; to leave the friends you loved for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth----

What is it that a young man wants? Where is the central source of that wild fury that boils up in him, that goads and drives and lashes him, that explodes his energies and strews his purpose to the wind of a thousand instant and chaotic impulses? The older and assured people of the world, who have learned to work without waste and error, think they know the reason for the chaos and confusion of a young man?s life. They have learned the thing at hand, and learned to follow their single way through all the million shifting hues and tones and cadences of living, to thread neatly with unperturbed heart their single thread through that huge labyrinth of shifting forms and intersecting energies that make up life?and they say, therefore, that the reason for a young man?s confusion, lack of purpose, and erratic living is because he has not found himself.

The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened.

There has been a time on earth when poets had been young and dead and famous - and were men. But now the poet as the tragic child of grandeur and destiny had changed. The child of genius was a woman, now, and the man was gone.

To me, it's a novel that pulls you inside the central nervous system of the characters ... and makes you feel in your bones their motivations as affected by the society of which they are a part.

What is it that makes a man willing to sit up on top of an enormous Roman candle, such as a Redstone, Atlas, Titan or Saturn rocket, and wait for someone to light the fuse?

The old hunger for voyages fed at his heart....To go alone...into strange cities; to meet strange people and to pass again before they could know him; to wander, like his own legend, across the earth--it seemed to him there could be no better thing than that.

There is no happy land. There is no end to hunger.

To me, novels are a trip of discovery, and you discover things that you don't know and you assume that many of your readers don't know, and you try to bring them to life on the page.

When I went to high school, my most passionate desire was to be a professional baseball player. But something within me told me that was not going to happen.

The only shame George Webber felt was that at one time in his life, for however short a period, he broke bread and sat at the same table with any man when the living warmth of friendship was not there; or that he ever traded upon the toil of his brain and the blood of his heart to get the body of a scented whore that might have been better got in a brothel for some greasy coins. This was the only shame he felt. And this shame was so great in him that he wondered if all his life thereafter would be long enough to wash out of his brain and blood the last pollution of its loathsome taint.

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

To me, the great joy of writing is discovering. Most writers are told to write about what they know, but I still love the adventure of going out and reporting on things I don't know about.

When I wrote Radical Chic, as a matter of fact, about a party for the Black Panthers at Leonard Bernstein's apartment, I noticed that the platters upon which the Panthers were being served Roquefort cheese balls were gadrooned. They had this little sort of ribbing around the edges of the trays. You may think that's a small point, but I think that small points like that can really make a piece, particularly at the beginning. There's something about a gadrooned platter being served to the Black Panthers that really gives a piece a bite, particularly at the beginning. It doesn't matter if your audience doesn't know what a gadrooned platter is. Often people are flattered to have an unusual word thrust upon them. They say, Well, that author thinks I know what he's talking about!

The problem with fiction, it has to be plausible. That's not true with non-fiction.

There is one voyage, the first, the last, the only one.

Toil on, son, and do not lose heart or hope. Let nothing you dismay. You are not utterly forsaken. I, too, am here--here in the darkness waiting, here attentive, here approving of your labor and your dream.

Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of loss, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this most weary unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When? O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.

The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.

There it was, the Rome, the Paris, the London of the twentieth century, the city of ambition, the dense magnetic rock, the irresistible destination of all those who insist on being where things are happening.

Vietnam was really an idealistic thing to stop the spread of communism, which, incidentally, it did. It was a pretty costly way to do it, but it achieved its goal.

'Why' is a question no animal can ask, because both the question and answers require speech. Have you ever seen an animal shrug?

The ripe, the golden month has come again, and in Virginia the chinkapins are falling. Frost sharps the middle music of the seasons, and all things living on the earth turn home again... the fields are cut, the granaries are full, the bins are loaded to the brim with fatness, and from the cider-press the rich brown oozings of the York Imperials run. The bee bores to the belly of the grape, the fly gets old and fat and blue, he buzzes loud, crawls slow, creeps heavily to death on sill and ceiling, the sun goes down in blood and pollen across the bronzed and mown fields of the old October.

Author Picture
First Name
Tom
Last Name
Wolfe, fully Thomas Kennerly "Tom" Wolfe
Birth Date
1931
Bio

American Author and Journalist, Influenced the New Journalism Literary Movement, known for The Right Stuff, The Last American Hero, The Bonfire of the Vanities, Almost Heroes