THE WIT…THE WHITE SUIT…THE WOW!!
It’s hard to imagine writing a tribute to Tom Wolfe without using all-caps and including a few (dozen) exclamation points. Celebrated as one of the pioneers of the New Journalism, Wolfe died at 88 of pneumonia in a New York hospital on Monday, according to his longtime agent, Lynn Nesbit. Among the white-suited legend’s greatest works were: The Bonfire of the Vanities, The Right Stuff, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Radical Chic & Mau-Mauing The Flak Catchers, and countless articles.
Here are some of the best examples of his sharp wit and arch commentary:
- If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.
- 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.
- That’s mostly what the Internet is, just passing the time. But unfortunately you are dealing with words that can have meaning.
- I used to go through the dictionary looking for unusual but nontechnical words. At one time, I thought the greatest word was “jejune” and I would throw it into every piece because something about it appealed to me.
- It’s not just that reporting gives you a bigger slice of life, gives–lends verisimilitude to what you are doing–it’s that it feeds the imagination.