Tom Wolfe, one of the few best-selling authors that conservatives can call their own, recently died and Monica Showalter offers a fitting tribute. From Showalter at americanthinker.com:
It’s couched in oh, so delicate terms, as pretty much everyone mourns the death of the great Tom Wolfe. Tom Wolfe was a reporter; Tom Wolfe was an observer. Tom Wolfe eyed status-seeking. Tom Wolfe skewered the establishment. And through his incredible mastery of words, he entertained the hell out of us.
Yes, true enough. But somehow he never got a Nobel Prize in literature, despite vastly outranking almost everyone else who has.
So I guess I am corrupting things a little when I state the obvious about Wolfe: he did write; he did observe; he did skewer; and by gosh, it all added up to making the left look stupid, particularly the cultural left, because it is the establishment. There is no way a writer this honest could not find them. And because he was a ferocious believer in and chronicler of American exceptionalism, he got them good.
Oh, he made the left look stupid. It’s why reading his work is such a delicious pleasure.
I read through the long, awesome piece in Vanity Fair by Michael Lewis, called “How Tom Wolfe Became Tom Wolfe,” to make sure I didn’t miss any clues, and though it took me an hour to read, it was extremely useful.
Turns out Wolfe got his start in red country, the genteel world of Richmond, Virginia, and was close to his conservative father. He never abandoned that world, which meant he stayed an outsider, a “deplorable” all his life. He was amused by President Trump and seemed to like the man – read this short passage of his thoughts in this American Spectator here, an incisive, original analysis from Wolfe about Trump.
There’s a heck of a lot more from deep in his background. Lewis wrote that Wolfe was right on to the left from his late college days, at least – his Ph.D. at Yale was all about the communist influence in American literature, a topic that almost didn’t pass muster from the leftists at Yale then and certainly wouldn’t even be entertained at such an establishment now (except in oozingly flattering terms, perhaps).
Wolfe understood the importance of rural America in the creation of heroes and the stultifying groupthink of too much exposure to cities, a “deplorable” idea indeed that we are living now. Such were the good takeaways from Lewis.
As a result, Wolfe’s glory was in destroying the left with his words.
To continue reading: No wonder he never got the Nobel prize: Tom Wolfe made the left look stupid