RIP Tom Wolfe

George K
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George K
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Joined: August 4th, 2005, 8:24 pm

May 15th, 2018, 3:58 pm #1

The first Wolfe book I read was "Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing the Flak Catchers." "The Right Stuff" is a classic, and "Bonfires" is brilliant.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... yptr=yahoo
wrote:Tom Wolfe, the ice-cream-suited dandy and prose provocateur who took a new mixture of journalism and literary techniques to mind-bending heights in works such as “Radical Chic” and “The Right Stuff,” has died. He was 88.

He died Monday in a Manhattan hospital, according to the New York Times, citing his agent, Lynn Nesbit, who said Wolfe had been hospitalized with an infection. He lived in New York.

A founding father of what became known as New Journalism, Wolfe added the terms “pushing the outside of the envelope” and “good ol’ boy” to the American lexicon. He branded the navel-gazing 1970s the “Me Decade” and dubbed high-flying Wall Street bond traders “Masters of the Universe” in his first work of fiction, “The Bonfire of the Vanities.”

His nonfiction work, most prominently in New York magazine and Esquire, followed a path laid in reporting by Gay Talese and Jimmy Breslin. Recalling with admiration a Breslin piece, Wolfe wrote in New York magazine in 1972: “There it was, a short story, complete with symbolism, in fact, and yet true-life, as they say.”

These practitioners of the New Journalism -- a term Wolfe said he didn’t like -- considered novels the highest form of writing. In the early 1960s, Wolfe said, they stumbled on the realization that journalism could be written to “read like a novel.”

“They never guessed for a minute that the work they would do over the next ten years, as journalists, would wipe out the novel as literature’s main event,” Wolfe recalled.
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Copper
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May 15th, 2018, 4:05 pm #2


RIP Mr. Wolfe
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jon-nyc
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May 15th, 2018, 4:05 pm #3

Oh, no. RIP. I enjoyed his books.
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bachophile
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May 15th, 2018, 7:27 pm #4

My first wolf was electric Kool aid acid test.

I really liked his unique style
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Mikhailoh
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May 15th, 2018, 9:50 pm #5

That was Ken Keysey.

Edit: no, he was the subject, not the author. I stand self-corrected.
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jon-nyc
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May 16th, 2018, 1:16 am #6

Clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.
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George K
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May 16th, 2018, 1:19 am #7

As I said, I liked "The Right Stuff" because of, I think, the story, more than the style. However, when I read "Bonfires" a couple of years ago, I loved the style. He had such a way of telling a story. Steven King is another one like that (I don't like his horror stuff all that much, but the others....).

I should revisit Updike.
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jon-nyc
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May 16th, 2018, 1:23 am #8

I’ve never read The Right Stuff. I’ve read all his novels and the EKAT&MTFC
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George K
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May 17th, 2018, 1:21 pm #9

The genius of Tom Wolfe’s white suits
wrote:Wolfe’s white suits didn’t make him look cool; they made him look odd. And what he seemed to understand was that odd was far more intriguing than cool. Odd is full of shadings and contradictions, frustrations and delights. The odd man fascinates. His personality must be unpacked; he is worth considering. But he also must be approached with caution and care. Who knows what he might do? Cool is overrated. People recognize cool when they see it, but once it’s witnessed and documented, it’s finished. To be cool is to be part of an era or a movement. But Wolfe surpassed his times. He stood apart. He was singular.

Wolfe, who died Monday at 88, wore white suits in public and in the solitary time he spent writing. The white suits were a constant visual contradiction. They made him look courtly at a time when irony and sarcasm were the rules of conversational engagement. He had the appearance of an awkward outsider as well as that of a man who was the star of his own play. The suits were beautifully tailored but desperately out of fashion. The white suit was a Southern affectation that Wolfe did not succumb to until he called New York City home. It made him the center of attention in any room even though his journalistic profession was best served by his ability to be the unnoticed observer.
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"There are 57 different genders, but politics is binary."
- David Burge, 7/29/18
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ivorythumper
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May 17th, 2018, 1:59 pm #10

George K wrote:The genius of Tom Wolfe’s white suits
wrote:Wolfe’s white suits didn’t make him look cool; they made him look odd. And what he seemed to understand was that odd was far more intriguing than cool. Odd is full of shadings and contradictions, frustrations and delights. The odd man fascinates. His personality must be unpacked; he is worth considering. But he also must be approached with caution and care. Who knows what he might do? Cool is overrated. People recognize cool when they see it, but once it’s witnessed and documented, it’s finished. To be cool is to be part of an era or a movement. But Wolfe surpassed his times. He stood apart. He was singular.

Wolfe, who died Monday at 88, wore white suits in public and in the solitary time he spent writing. The white suits were a constant visual contradiction. They made him look courtly at a time when irony and sarcasm were the rules of conversational engagement. He had the appearance of an awkward outsider as well as that of a man who was the star of his own play. The suits were beautifully tailored but desperately out of fashion. The white suit was a Southern affectation that Wolfe did not succumb to until he called New York City home. It made him the center of attention in any room even though his journalistic profession was best served by his ability to be the unnoticed observer.
Wolfe called his sartorial style "neo-pretentious". :lol2:
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