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

For he had learned tonight that love was not enough. There had to be a higher devotion than all the devotions of this fond imprisonment. There had to be a larger world than this glittering fragment of a world with all its wealth and privilege. Throughout his whole youth and early manhood, this very world of beauty, ease, and luxury, of power, glory, and security, had seemed the ultimate end of human ambition, the furthermost limit to which the aspirations of any man could reach. But tonight, in a hundred separate moment of intense reality, it had revealed to him its very core. He had seen it naked, with its guards down. He had sensed how the hollow pyramid of a false social structure had been erected and sustained upon a base of common mankind's blood and sweat and agony...Privilege and truth could not lie down together. He thought of how a silver dollar, if held close enough to the eye, could blot out the sun itself. There were stronger, deeper tides and currents running in America than any which these glamorous lives tonight had ever plumbed or even dreamed of. Those were the depths he would like to sound.

How very American it was to assume that these unsmiling Chinese would be pleased if one showed a preference for their native implements...How very American it was to feel somehow guilty unless one struggled over rice noodles and lumps of meat with things that looked like enlarged knitting needles.

I read somewhere that writers, as they get older, become more and more perfectionist. Which may be because they think more highly of themselves and they worry about their reputations. I think there's some truth to that.

If most writers are honest with themselves, this is the difference they want to make: before, they were not noticed; now they are.

It was a cruel city, but it was a lovely one; a savage city, yet it had such tenderness; a bitter, harsh, and violent catacomb of stone an steel and tunneled rock, slashed savagely with light, and roaring, fighting a constant ceaseless warfare of men and of machinery; and yet it was so sweetly and so delicately pulsed, as full of warmth, of passion, and of love, as it was full of hate.

Miami is a melting pot in which none of the stones melt. They rattle around.

O lost, And by the wind grieved, Ghost, Come back again.

Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. ~Tom Wolfe

The bonfire of the vanities.

A jock with any natural instincts at all, with any true devotion to the holy coordinates, either possessed or was eating his heart out for the sort of car that Alan Shepard had, which was a Corvette, or that Wally Schirra had, which was a Triumph, i.e., a sports car, or some kind of hot car, anyway, something that would enable you to hang your hide out over the edge with a little class.

American government is like a train on a track. You have the people on the left shouting; you have the people on the right. But the train's on track. They just keep ploughing ahead.

But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town, and the immortal hills around it, was not the only home he had on earth? He did not know. All that he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.

Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.

Forever, Horizon, Glimpse save quote report

I believe that we are lost here in America, but I believe we shall be found. And this belief, which mounts now to the catharsis of knowledge and conviction, is for me--and I think for all of us--not only our own hope, but America's everlasting, living dream.

I realized instinctively that if I were going to write vignettes of contemporary life, which is what I was doing constantly for New York, I wanted all the sounds, the looks, the feel of whatever place I was writing about to be in this vignette. Brand names, tastes in clothes and furniture, manners, the way people treat children, servants, or their superiors, are important clues to an individual's expectations. This is something else that I am criticized for, mocked for, ridiculed for. I take some solace in the fact that the leading critic of Balzac's day, Sainte-Beuve, used to say the same thing about Balzac's fixation on furniture.

If you label it this, then it can't be that.

It worked so far out beyond the frontiers of conventional studio art that they have no names themselves for the forms they create.

Most of the time we think we're sick, it's all in the mind.

Of all I have ever seen or learned, that book seems to me the noblest, the wisest, and the most powerful expression of man's life upon this earth ? and also the highest flower of poetry, eloquence, and truth. I am not given to dogmatic judgments in the matter of literary creation, but if I had to make one I could say that Ecclesiastes is the greatest single piece of writing I have ever known, and the wisdom expressed in it the most lasting and profound.

So all were gone at last, one by one, each swept out into the mighty flood tide of the city's life, there to prove, to test, to find, to lose himself, as each man must--alone.

The country is so large that it can not be said that there is only October.

A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.

Among other things Jonestown was an example of a definition well known to sociologists of religion: a cult is a religion with no political power.

By God, I shall spend the rest of my life getting my heart back, healing and forgetting every scar you put upon me when I was a child. The first move I ever made, after the cradle, was to crawl for the door, and every move I have made since has been an effort to escape.

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