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

A stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth. Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone? O waste of lost, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this 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.

And this haunting and lonely memory is due probably to the combination of two things: the ghastly imitation of swarming life and metropolitan gaiety in the scene, and the almost total absence of life itself.

Could I make tongue say more than tongue could utter! Could I make brain grasp more than brain could think! Could I weave into immortal denseness some small brede of words, pluck out of sunken depths the roots of living, some hundred thousand magic words that were as great as all my hunger, and hurl the sum of all my living out upon three hundred pages?then death could take my life, for I had lived it ere he took it: I had slain hunger, beaten death!

Everyone is taught the essentials of writing for at least 13 years, maybe more if they go to college. Nobody is taught music or tap dancing that way.

He plundered the living treasure of those shelves. There was Burton's marvelous Anatomy, his staggering erudition never smelling of the dust or of the lamp...There was the dark tremendous music of Sir Thomas Browne, and Hooker's sounding and tremendous passion made great by genius and made true by faith.

I found it extremely difficult to shift from nonfiction to fiction and for reasons that surprised me. One was that I didn't face up to the most obvious thing of all ... which is that in nonfiction you are handed the plot. You are handed the characters. It just didn't dawn on me how much I was now depriving myself of.

I was sitting in my office when someone called to tell me two light planes had collided with the World Trade Centre. I turned on my television; before long, there was this procession of people of all kinds walking up the street. What I remember most was the silence of that crowd; there was no sound.

In the U.S., the term 'general aviation' means its exact opposite, the way 'public school' does in England. An English public school is private and, on top of that, exclusive. Likewise, general-aviation airports in the U.S. are for everyone but the general public.

Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.

New York, Spring, Mouths save quote report

Peace fell upon her spirit. Strong comfort and assurance bathed her whole being. Life was so solid and splendid, and so good.

Somewhere in the crowd a woman sobbed and collapsed in a faint. She was immediately carried out by two Boy Scouts who happened to be present, and who administered first aid to her in the rest-room, one of them hastily kindling a crackling fire of pine boughs by striking two flints together, while the other made a tourniquet, and tied several knots in his handkerchief.

The highest intelligences of the time?the very subtlest of the chosen few?were bored by many things. They tilled the waste land, and erosion had grown fashionable. They were bored with love, and they were bored with hate. They were bored with men who worked, and with men who loafed. They were bored with people who created something, and with people who created nothing. They were bored with marriage, and with single blessedness. They were bored with chastity, and they were bored with adultery. They were bored with going abroad, and they were bored with staying at home. They were bored with the great poets of the world, whose great poems they had never read. They were bored with hunger in the streets, with the men who were killed, with the children who starved, and with the injustice, cruelty, and oppression all around them; and they were bored with justice, freedom, and man?s right to live. They were bored with living, they were bored with dying, but?they were not bored that year with Mr. Piggy Logan and his circus of wire dolls.

A young man is so strong, so mad, so certain, and so lost. He has everything and he is able to use nothing.

And who shall say--whatever disenchantment follows--that we ever forget magic; or that we can ever betray, on this leaden earth, the apple-tree, the singing, and the gold?

Couldn't you also say a liberal is a conservative who just got arrested?

Everything was becoming allegorical, understood by the group mind, and especially this: "You're either on the bus...or off the bus.

He sounded like Jean-Fran‡ois Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

I had always looked down on sociology as this arriviste discipline. It didn't have the noble history of English and history as a subject. But once I had a little exposure to it, I said, 'Hey, here's the key. Here's the key to understanding life and all its forms.'

I went to see the Beatles last month... And I heard 20,000 girls screaming together at the Beatles... and I couldn't hear what they were screaming, either... But you don't have to... They're screaming Me! Me! Me! Me!... I'm Me!... That's the cry of the ego, and that's the cry of this rally!... Me! Me! Me! Me!... And that's why wars get fought... ego... because enough people want to scream Pay attention to Me... Yep, you're playing their game...

Is not this the true romantic feeling - not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you?

Lost. He understood that men were forever strangers to one another, that no one ever comes really to know any one, that imprisoned in the dark womb of our mother, we come to life without having seen her face, that we are given to her arms a stranger, and that, caught in that insoluble prison of being, we escape it never, no matter what arms may clasp us, what mouth may kiss us, what heart may warm us. Never, never, never, never, never.

Night falls hastily frosted glass and place in your hands a small but very pleasant tinkle. The big city seems to burn in all its breadth, in its overwhelming backdrop of towers covered with sparkles, darning now next to a million looks ... and the sun has already put behind them and the old red twilight is paints without heat, without violence, over the river. And there are boats, trailers, barges passing and the winged prospect of bridges with its exultant grace. Suddenly, night has fallen and there are no boats, no boats, and an animal and intolerable anxiety within you that you do not get calm.

People complain about my exclamation points, but I honestly think that's the way people think. I don't think people think in essays; it's one exclamation point to another.

Spring has no language, just a scream. Still, cruelest snake that April is the time.

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