May 15, 2008

"Orwell said, 'I never wrote a decent word that wasn't motivated by a deep political feeling.'"

"I totally disagree with Orwell, who I admire," says Tom Wolfe. "I have never written a decent word that was dominated by politics."
People always talk about me as this right-wing writer. And to them I say, "What's my agenda? What is political about I am Charlotte Simmons? What's political about A Man In Full, what's political about The Right Stuff or The Bonfire of the Vanities, or The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test?"
Oh, Tom, don't you realize — of course you do — that denying such things are political is itself right wing?

I found that via Instapundit, who's got a 2:23 AM post at the top of his page now, saying that he just got back home after 6 hours at the Children's E.R. and that blogging may be light this morning. I hope everything is okay with the Instafamily, but it must be, because not only did he say "Things turned out about as well as could be," but he also saw fit to think about and take the time to manage blog reader expectations.

UPDATE: Looks like he's okay.

10 comments:

Beldar said...

Wolfe is an irredeemable counter-revolutionary by virtue of his ability to spot the emperor's lack of clothing and his unwillingness to pretend otherwise. Charlotte Simmons' indictment of the campus hook-up culture can't help but make any teen daughter's father slightly crazy, and can't help but expose as vapid, and potentially dangerous, the purported support and empowerment of said daughters by the leftist organizations that are today busy arguing instead over whether to endorse Barack or Hillary.

In the meantime, in the discrete and particular real world, real fathers (and mothers) pay middle of the night E.R. visits to ensure that their kids are okay. The exceptional ones among them then think of other (vastly lesser) obligations and expectations, and dash off a line on the internet to avoid disappointing same.

Life's lessons are indeed all around us.

Ron said...

I wonder how many neutrals who get tarred with the 'non-lib=right wing' brush, shrug and embrace their inner jackboot if they're going to get treated that way anyway...

George said...

Has Wolfe commented on the Wright/Obama episode?

Not even he could have dreamed up a Chicago machine pol Harvard grad with a Muslim name who had two non-American fathers (both Muslim, one Asian, one African), an atheist mother, and a history of inhaling who suffers from persistent questions about his religion and patriotism, has a sleazy fundraiser neighbor, calls women "sweetie," says Philip Roth heavily influenced his "intellectual formation," once adored a minister who damns America and who will probably be the Democratic nominee running against an ex-fighter pilot Senator who was tortured for five years in a POW camp and sells a line of eco-fashion apparel.

What novelist could dream that up?

Ron said...

Things must be better at chez Instapundit; he's posting videos about the tariff on tanning products! Er, or was it ethanol? I forgot...

Salamandyr said...

I was telling my wife about Tom Wolfe the other day (outside of her area of study, she's not much of a reader, but she listens to me ramble). I said Tom Wolfe is perceived as a conservative writer because he's not a left wing writer, which makes him, by current literary standards, right wing by default.

Ron said...

OK? I'd say a bit better than that!

rcocean said...

He tells the truth about Mailer:

TOM WOLFE: Mailer cannot write novels. I'm sorry to have to say that. He has no ear for anyone other than himself. Just look at the dialogue. The one exception to this is a so-called novel called The Executioner's Song, which has wonderful dialogue.

I love Tom Wolfe.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Perhaps this is a backhanded admission that the dominated-by-politics "Ambush at Fort Bragg" wasn't very good.

William said...

Tom Wolfe is the godfather of snark. These lyric outbursts of sarcasm that you sometimes read here and in other places on the internet are written in the idiom that Wolfe initiated. Conservative commentators wish to to top Radical Chic the way liberal reporters wish to duplicate Bernstein-Woodward's investigation of Watergate....Instead of next year's remake of Pride and Prejudice, how about they have another shot at Bonfire of the Vanities. Hollywood made a politically correct movie about the contradictions of political correctness.

dick said...

Ann,

I think you are wrong but the premise is based on your trying to make him prove a negative. How can he prove that it is not political and how can you prove that it is?