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

We are now in the Me Decade - seeing the upward roll of the third great religious wave in American history.

You can be denounced from the heavens, and it only makes people interested.

The surest cure for vanity is loneliness

There's no need for algebra where two and two make five.

We are the sum of all our parts

You can dramatize reality in fiction so easily and with such economy, bring so many strands of a society onto one plotline. You can have a real impact with fiction provided that you deal with reality, provided you want to show how society works, how it fits together.

The thought of these vast stacks of books would drive him mad: the more he read, the less he seemed to know ? the greater the number of the books he read, the greater the immense uncountable number of those which he could never read would seem to be?. The thought that other books were waiting for him tore at his heart forever.

They were...well, Beautiful People! - not 'students', 'clerks', 'salesgirls', 'executive trainees' - Christ, don't give me your occupation-game labels! We are Beautiful People, ascendant from your robot junkyard.

We are the sum of all the moments in our lives - all that is ours is in them: we cannot escape it or conceal it.

You can lead a person to culture, but you can't make them think.

The modern notion of art is an essentially religious or magical one in which the artist is viewed as a holy beast who in some way, big or small, receives flashes from the godhead, which is known as creativity.

The traveler gets out, walks up and down the platform, sees the vast slow flare and steaming of the mighty engine, rushes into the station, and looks into the faces of all the people passing with the same sense of instant familiarity, greeting, and farewell,--that lonely, strange, and poignantly wordless feeling that Americans know so well.

This is Brooklyn--which means ten thousand streets and blocks like this one. Brooklyn, Admiral Drake, is the Standard Concentrated Chaos No. 1 of the Whole Universe. That is to say, it has no size, no shape, no heart, no joy, no hope, no aspiration, no center, no eyes, no soul, no purpose, no direction, and no anything--just Standard Concentrated Units everywhere--exploding in all directions for an unknown number of square miles like a completely triumphant Standard Concentrated Blot upon the Face of the Earth.

We can't turn back the days that have gone. We can't turn life back to the hours when our lungs were sound, our blood hot, our bodies young. We are a flash of fire--a brain, a heart, a spirit. And we are three-cents-worth of lime and iron--which we cannot get back.

You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing's sake, back home to aestheticism, to one's youthful idea of the artist and the all-sufficiency of art and beauty and love, back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermuda, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time--back home to the escapes of Time and Memory. In a way, the phrase summed up everything he had ever learned.

The modern picture of the artist began to form: The poor, but free spirit, plebeian but aspiring only to be classless, to cut himself forever free from the bonds of the greedy bourgeoisie, to be whatever the fat burghers feared most, to cross the line wherever they drew it, to look at the world in a way they couldn't see, to be high, live low, stay young forever -- in short, to be the bohemian.

The very bitter lesson that everyone who wants to write has got to learn, was that a thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish.

This is man, who, if he can remember ten golden moments of joy and happiness out of all his years, ten moments unmarked by care, unseamed by aches or itches, has power to lift himself with his expiring breath and say: I have lived upon this earth and known glory!

Well, he said, quite seriously, it's this way: you work because you're afraid not to. You work becuase you have to drive yourself to such a fury to begin. That part's just plain hell! It's so hard to get started that once you do you're afraid of slipping back. You'd rather do anything than go through all that agony again--so you keep going--you keep going faster all the time--you keep going till you couldn't stop even if you wanted to. You forget to eat, to shave, to put on a clean shirt when you have one. You almost forget to sleep, and when you do try to you can't--because the avalanche has started, and it keeps going night and day. And people say: 'Why don't you stop sometime? Why don't you forget about it now and then? Why don't you take a few days off?' And you don't do it because you can't--you can't stop yourself--and even if you could you'd be afraid to because there'd be all that hell to go through getting started up again. Then people say you're a glutton for work, but it isn't so. It's laziness--just plain, damned, simple laziness, that's all...Napoleon--and--and Balzac--and Thomas Edison--these fellows who never sleep more than an hour or two at a time, and can keep going night and day--why that's not because they love to work! It's because they're really lazy--and afraid not to work because they know they're lazy! Why, hell yes! ... I'll bet you anything you like if you could really find out what's going on in old Edison's mind, you'd find that he wished he could stay in bed every day until two o'clock in the afternoon! And then get up and scratch himself! And then lie around in the sun for a while! And hang around with the boys down at the village store, talking about politics, and who's going to win the World Series next fall!

You can't go home again.

A cult is a religion with no political power.

All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken

Baseball?s a dull game, really; that?s the reason that it is so good. We do not love the game so much as we love the sprawl and drowse and shirt-sleeved apathy of it.

Driving a stock car does not require much handling ability, at least not as compared to Grand Prix racing, because the tracks are simple banked ovals and there is almost no shifting of gears. So, qualifying becomes a test of raw nerve - of how fast a man is willing to take a curve.

For four years he lived in Brooklyn, and four years in Brooklyn are a geologic age -- a single stratum of grey time. They were years of poverty, of desperation, of loneliness unutterable. All about him were the poor, the outcast, the neglected and forsaken people of America, and he was one of them. But life is strong, and year after year it went on around him in all its manifold complexity, rich with its unnoticed and unrecorded little happenings.

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