Talk:Thomas Wolfe

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Any point in including a dismbig. message directing to the hip fin-de-siecle journalist-novelist Tom Wolfe? Ellsworth 15:49, 2 May 2004 (UTC)

No point in discussing that at all! Thomas Wolfe should not be confused with pedestrian pop-icon Tom Wolfe, the James Michener of the baby boomers, who thinks wearing a Colonel Sanders/ice cream salesman suit all the time-a stereotype of the pathetic post Civil War Southern gentry-is some kind of cachet cool. He embodies exactly the type of respectable polite middle class society Thomas Wolfe had nothing but contempt for.

Absolutely, Ellsworth. Since no one has yet done it in 7 months, I'll Be bold and do it. I'm curious about the quote "You can't go home again." I think I've actually seen newspaper articles that seem to attribute that to Tom Wolfe, which is exactly why I cam here. So I will try to investigate and later include that fact in both articles. I also want to include Tom Wolfe in List of notable eccentrics, since I remember him as the guy in the white suit. Spalding 12:06, Nov 13, 2004 (UTC)

Aline Bernstein: why does she redirect here?[edit]

If you go to Tony Award for Best Costume Design, you will see that Aline Bernstein won an award in 1950. Click on her name -- Aline Bernstein -- and you end up on Thomas Wolfe's page.

Does this make sense? — Lawrence King (talk) 00:02, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

Faulkner comment[edit]

It's a small point, but Faulkner was misquoted when he claimed that Wolfe was his generation's best writer. Not sure if it's really something worth altering though. Below is a letter from Faulkner that Richard Walser included in a book of his on Thomas Wolfe:

"I seem to have been misquoted... as apparently happens every time I open my mouth to newspaper people. I never said Wolfe was ‘the greatest American writer of modern times.’ I said, and this was several years ago, that among his and my contemporaries, I rated Wolfe first because we had all failed but Wolfe had made the best failure because he had tried hardest to say the most – a generalisation [sic] made rather in conversation than as a public statement, or so I thought at the time. I still support the statement, of course. Man has but one short life to write in, and there is so much to be said, and of course he wants to say it all before he dies. My admiration for Wolfe is that he tried his best to get it all said; he was willing to throw away style, coherence, all the rules of preciseness, to try to put all the experience of the human heart on the head of a pin, as it were. He may have had the best talent of us, he may have been ‘the greatest American writer’ if he had lived longer, though I have never held much with the ‘mute inglorious Milton’ theory; I believe it all gets said; that is, unless you are run down by a hit-and-run car, you say what you are capable of before you can persuade yourself to let go and die." (Walser, Richard (ed). The Enigma of Thomas Wolfe: Biography and Critical Seletions. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1953. pg. vii.) - Alaaious 01:53, 11 November 2007 (UTC)

Film Series?[edit]

I'm wondering why none of his works have been, to my knowledge, depicted in film or TV. Look Homeward Angel or Of Time and the River would be right up there with the best of them like Deadwood. I remember one of the opening scenes of Of Time and the River when our protaganist and an acquaintance are headed North towards the Mason-Dixon line with the character based on Wolfe headed to Harvard. They step out between the cars for a smoke as the train speeds along clickety clack down the rails. They go back into the parlor car and are confronted with the visage of two well healed gentlemen having their drinks and reading their papers with an eye to the stocks and enjoin them in a topical conversation about the upcoming Presidential election in which these gentlemen with pained condesencion relate that of course they're for Cox and Roosevelt but after all Harding and Coolidge aren't such a bad prospect; Wolfe relates his and his comrade's naive perplexity at their dissembling.Tom Cod (talk) 03:26, 22 August 2008 (UTC)

Peacock wording[edit]

Much as I dislike to enter what appears to be a domain reserved for Wolfe fans, I think that in the interests of NPOV there should be a little more balance in the article, and have flagged it accordingly. Right now it's a lovefest for its subject, but not everyone loves Wolfe's work. Flannery O'Connor is one notable author who didn't like Wolfe's stuff. I'm quoting from memory, but she once mentioned an interview with James Jones in which Jones was quoted as saying that he had read Thomas Wolfe while stationed overseas during WW2 and had realised then and there that he had been a writer all his life without even knowing it, and without having written anything. O'Connor went on to remark (or at least to approvingly quote the remark) that Wolfe had done a lot of this type of damage but that Jones was a particularly glaring example. So, Wolfe has been criticised, and quite brutally, by at least one notable source. I myself can take or leave his work. Lexo (talk) 23:12, 25 August 2009 (UTC)

There should be citations for some of the adjectives in the article, but since there is not a section on responses of critics, I don't think that it is necessarily a question of not having NPOV to not include negative critical responses (as no positive critical responses are included, either). From what I understand, Flannery O'Connor disliked more authors than she liked; if any critical reactions are included, perhaps Harold Bloom would be a more contemporary example of someone who doesn't care for Wolfe. Therefore, I'll add some citations and remove the peacock tag.--Gloriamarie (talk) 00:32, 8 November 2009 (UTC)

The article also makes the claim, in the section labeled "Death," that Wolfe had "a career less than half as long as Fitzgerald [or Hemingway, or Faulkner.]" Fitzgerald died at age 44, and the last novel published during his lifetime -- Tender is the Night -- came out six years earlier, when he was 38, the same age Wolfe was when he died. I don't see how Fitzgerald's can be calculated as a career that lasted more than twice as long as Wolfe's.Ken Kukec (talk) 22:09, 30 August 2012 (UTC)


I came here looking for information about his novella "A Portrait of Bascom Hawke", but I couldn't anything about it here. I am under the impression that it was one of his more important works, so I am curious as to why it is not mentioned in the article. On a related note, I was looking over his list of works and it struck me as rather odd that the dates for many of his works extend up to 50 years after his death. Are these all adaptations or works released about him (The Letters of Thomas Wolfe for instance)? At any rate, I find it confusing, and I think it's safe to assume that I'm not the only one. Sesamehoneytart (talk) 18:01, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

alcohol abuse[edit]

where is his addiction to beer (alcohol) mentioned in this writeup? -- mowglee 18:22, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

I agree. It is a serious omission that not one word is mentioned about his alcoholism, which certainly had a great effect on the quality of his work and contributed to his death. SamJohn2013 (talk) 05:31, 3 December 2014 (UTC)

The Face of a Nation[edit]

The Face of a Nation, a compilation, was also published posthumously in 1939. (talk) 08:25, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

"Tom Wolf"[edit]

The usage of Tom Wolf (edit | talk | history | protect | delete | links | watch | logs | views) is under discussion, see Talk:Thomas W. Wolf -- (talk) 05:57, 19 February 2014 (UTC)


How is the last name pronounced? With or without a final "e"? Can someone add a pronunciation widget? -- Dandv(talk|contribs) 05:35, 16 April 2014 (UTC)