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

Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.

Forever, Stories, Kind save quote report

I do novels a bit backward. I look for a situation, a milieu first, and then I wait to see who walks into it.

I still believe nonfiction is the most important literature to come out of the second half of the 20th century.

If you want to write, start writing now in your own home town and write every day as hard as you can; do not think you have to go to Paris and wait for inspiration to strike.

It's fortunate that I am a writer, because that has helped me understand the properties of words. They are what have made life complex. In the battle for status in the animal kingdom, power and aggressiveness have been all-important. But among humans, once they acquired speech, all that changed.

Most people don't read editorial pages. I think I must have been 40 before I even looked at an editorial page.

On Wall Street he and a few others - how many? - three hundred, four hundred, five hundred? - had become precisely that... Masters of the Universe.

So many people in this country have a dual loyalty. They have loyalty to America, but they also are determined to have their parade up Fifth Avenue once a year... a Cuban parade or a Puerto Rican parade - many other countries. So they really don't forget.

The dark ancestral cave, the womb from which mankind emerged into the light, forever pulls one back - but...you can't go home again...you can't go...back home to the escapes of Time and Memory. You Can't Go Home Again

A lie may fool someone else, but it tells you the truth: you're weak.

And - of course! - the Non-people. The whole freaking world was full of people who were bound to tell you they weren't qualified to do this or that but they were determined to go ahead and do just that thing anyway.

By the 1950s The Novel had become a nationwide tournament. There was a magical assumption that the end of World War II in 1945 was the dawn of a new golden age of the American Novel, like the Hemingway-Dos Passos-Fitzgerald era after World War I.

Eugene looked with passionate devotion at that grand old head, calm, wise and comforting. In a moment of vision, he saw that, for him, here was the last of those giants to whom we give the faith of our youth, believing like children that the riddle of our lives may be solved by their quiet judgment.

Fortunately, the world is full of people with information compulsion who want to tell you their stories. They want to tell you things that you don't know. They're some of the greatest allies that any writer has.

I don't know yet what I am capable of doing, but, by God, I have genius -- I know it too well to blush behind it.

I think of evolution as a myth, like the Norse myths, the Greek myths - anybody's myths. But it was created for a rational age.

I'm a great believer in outlines.

It's like a boulder rolling down a hill - you can watch it and talk about it and scream and say Shit! but you can't stop it. It's just a question of where it's going to go.

My dear, dear girl? 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.

Once you have speech, you don't have to wait for natural selection! If you want more strength, you build a stealth bomber; if you don't like bacteria, you invent penicillin; if you want to communicate faster, you invent the Internet. Once speech evolved, all of human life changed.

So speaks Man-Creating. Then, instantly, it all changes, and from Man-Creating I become simply Man-Alive--a member of society, a friend and neighbor, a son and brother of the human race. And when I look at what I have done from this point of view, suddenly I feel lower than a dog. I see all the pain and anguish I have caused to people I know, and I wonder how I could have done it, and how there could possibly be any justification for it--yes, even if what I wrote had been as great as Lear, as eloquent as Hamlet...For what integrity is there that is not tainted with human frailty? If only I could tell myself that every word and phrase and incident in the book had been created at the top of my bent and with the impartial judgment of unrancorous detachment! But I know it is not true. So many words came back to me, so many whip-lash phrases, that must have been written in a spirit that had nothing to do with art or my integrity. We are such stuff that dust is made of, and where we fail--we fail! Is there, then, no such thing as a pure spirit in creation?

The demolition derby is, pure and simple, a form of gladiatorial combat for our times.

A perception of the cosmic unity of this higher level. And a feeling of timelessness, the feeling that what we know as time is only the result of a naive faith in causality - the notion that A in the past caused B in the present, which will cause C in the future, when actually A, B, and C are all part of a pattern that can be truly understood only by opening the doors of perception and experiencing it... in this moment... this supreme moment... this Kairos.

And always America is the place of the deathless and enraptured moments, the eye that looked, the mouth that smiled and vanished, and the word; the stone, the leaf, the door we never found and never have forgotten. And these are the things that we remember of America, for we have known all her thousand lights and weathers, and we walk the streets, we walk the streets forever, we walk the streets of life alone.

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