The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Tom Wolfe

One of the premier observers of the American scene over that past 40 years died this week. Tom Wolfe was 88. Over his long life, Wolfe wrote essays and novels that were wicked in their depiction of the hypocrisy and pretension of the glitterati, the literary elite, the intelligencia, all politicians, and other of the country's movers and shakers. He defied political labels.

In an homage to Wolfe, Roger Kimball characterized him this way:
Wolfe was a profound observer of culture, a sort of super-sociologist who could emit singing prose and deliver deadly characterizations.
Wolfe's skill was that he was never strident and rarely preachy. He told a story and you just had to smile as his characters made his sociological points for him.

He reveled, I think, in pointing out much of the idiocy of many aspects of political correctness, but at the same time, was fearless in pointing out social injustice, not as the current progressive movement thinks it is, but as it actually exists.

We need more Tom Wolfes, but his breed is increasingly rare. In Kimball's words:
With the passing of Tom Wolfe we have lost one of our greatest, if not our greatest, men of letters. He was—to cite the title of one of his novels—a man in full. His many friends will miss him. Our culture is the poorer for his absence.