Best Quotes by Tom Wolfe

There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.

Tom Wolfe

The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, peculiar to myself and to a few other solitary men, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.

Tom Wolfe

Love is the ultimate expression of the will to live.

Tom Wolfe

Miami is a melting pot in which none of the stones melt. They rattle around.

Tom Wolfe

This is the artist, then, life’s hungry man, the glutton of eternity, beauty’s miser, glory’s slave.

Tom Wolfe

American government is like a train on a track. You have the people on the left shouting; you have the people on the right. But the train’s on track. They just keep ploughing ahead.

Tom Wolfe

I don’t think journalists should talk about whom they’re voting for.

Tom Wolfe

The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.

Tom Wolfe

There was a time in the 1930s when magazine writers could actually make a good living. ‘The Saturday Evening Post’ and ‘Collier’s’ both had three stories in each issue. These were usually entertaining, and people really went for them. But then television came along, and now of course, information technology… the new way of killing time.

Tom Wolfe

I had always looked down on sociology as this arriviste discipline. It didn’t have the noble history of English and history as a subject. But once I had a little exposure to it, I said, ‘Hey, here’s the key. Here’s the key to understanding life and all its forms.’

Tom Wolfe

You never realise how much of your background is sewn into the lining of your clothes.

Tom Wolfe

The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened.

Tom Wolfe

The greatest promotion I ever had on a newspaper was when ‘The Washington Post’ suddenly promoted me from city-side general assignment reporter to Latin American correspondent and sent me off to Cuba. Fidel Castro had just come to power. It was a very exciting assignment, but also very serious.

Tom Wolfe

My idol is Emile Zola. He was a man of the left, so people expected of him a kind of ‘Les Miserables,’ in which the underdogs are always noble people. But he went out, and found a lot of ambitious, drunk, slothful and mean people out there. Zola simply could not – and was not interested in – telling a lie.

Tom Wolfe

I still believe nonfiction is the most important literature to come out of the second half of the 20th century.

Tom Wolfe

Why’ is a question no animal can ask, because both the question and answers require speech. Have you ever seen an animal shrug?

Tom Wolfe

I used to enjoy using dots where they would be least expected, not at the end of a sentence but in the middle, creating the effect… of a skipped beat. It seemed to me the mind reacted – first!… in dots, dashes, and exclamation points, then rationalized, drew up a brief, with periods.

Tom Wolfe

I read somewhere that writers, as they get older, become more and more perfectionist. Which may be because they think more highly of themselves and they worry about their reputations. I think there’s some truth to that.

Tom Wolfe

To me, the great joy of writing is discovering. Most writers are told to write about what they know, but I still love the adventure of going out and reporting on things I don’t know about.

Tom Wolfe

Most people don’t read editorial pages. I think I must have been 40 before I even looked at an editorial page.

Tom Wolfe

Nerds… the ‘nerd’ has never been precisely defined, thanks to the psychological complexity of the creature. The word has connotations of some level of intelligence. The typical nerd is a male with intelligence but no sense of giving it a manly face.

Tom Wolfe

I have no idea who coined the term ‘the New Journalism,’ or when it was coined. I have never even liked the term. Any movement, group, party, program, philosophy or theory that goes under a name with ‘new’ in it is just begging for trouble, of course.

Tom Wolfe

Nonfiction is never going to die.

Tom Wolfe

I never forget. I never forgive. I can wait. I find it very easy to harbor a grudge. I have scores to settle.

Tom Wolfe

No machines will ever truly fully figure the brain out, because the brain’s performance is constantly altered or else constrained by this inanimate, rogue artifact you can’t control, namely, speech.

Tom Wolfe

In the U.S., the term ‘general aviation’ means its exact opposite, the way ‘public school’ does in England. An English public school is private and, on top of that, exclusive. Likewise, general-aviation airports in the U.S. are for everyone but the general public.

Tom Wolfe

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.

Tom Wolfe

I have discovered that for me – now, maybe it doesn’t work for everybody – for me, it is much more effective to arrive at any situation as a man from Mars than to try to fit in.

Tom Wolfe

There are some people who have the quality of richness and joy in them and they communicate it to everything they touch. It is first of all a physical quality; then it is a quality of the spirit.

Tom Wolfe

We are now in the Me Decade – seeing the upward roll of the third great religious wave in American history.

Tom Wolfe

Driving a stock car does not require much handling ability, at least not as compared to Grand Prix racing, because the tracks are simple banked ovals and there is almost no shifting of gears. So, qualifying becomes a test of raw nerve – of how fast a man is willing to take a curve.

Tom Wolfe

No machines will ever truly fully figure the brain out, because the brain’s performance is constantly altered or else constrained by this inanimate, rogue artifact you can’t control, namely, speech.

Tom Wolfe

I found a great many pieces of punctuation and typography lying around dormant when I came along – and I must say I had a good time using them.

Tom Wolfe

If a conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged, a liberal is a conservative who’s been arrested.

Tom Wolfe

There is no motivation higher than being a good writer.

Tom Wolfe

A cult is a religion with no political power.

Tom Wolfe

It is very comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don’t put psychotics in high places and we’ve got the problem solved.

Tom Wolfe

I think of evolution as a myth, like the Norse myths, the Greek myths – anybody’s myths. But it was created for a rational age.

Tom Wolfe

The newspaper is, in fact, very bad for one’s prose style. That’s why I gravitated towards feature stories where you get a little more leeway in the writing style.

Tom Wolfe

I’m a great believer in outlines.

Tom Wolfe

I do novels a bit backward. I look for a situation, a milieu first, and then I wait to see who walks into it.

Tom Wolfe

That’s mostly what the Internet is, just passing the time. But unfortunately you are dealing with words that can have meaning.

Tom Wolfe

It’s fortunate that I am a writer, because that has helped me understand the properties of words. They are what have made life complex. In the battle for status in the animal kingdom, power and aggressiveness have been all-important. But among humans, once they acquired speech, all that changed.

Tom Wolfe

At the outset, at least, all three groups had something else to recommend them, as well: They were headquartered 3,000 miles away from the East Side of Manhattan.

Tom Wolfe

The attitude is we live and let live. This is actually an amazing change in values in a rather short time and it’s an example of freedom from religion.

Tom Wolfe

We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we’re in the present, but we aren’t. The present we know is only a movie of the past.

Tom Wolfe

There has been a time on earth when poets had been young and dead and famous – and were men. But now the poet as the tragic child of grandeur and destiny had changed. The child of genius was a woman, now, and the man was gone.

Tom Wolfe

On Wall Street he and a few others – how many? three hundred, four hundred, five hundred? had become precisely that… Masters of the Universe.

Tom Wolfe

Frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can’t see a painting.

Tom Wolfe

Radical Chic, after all, is only radical in Style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions.

Tom Wolfe

Not long after I published my first book, I quickly found I was terrible at being interviewed.

Tom Wolfe

I wrote a number of pieces in the year 1966 that were so bad that, although I’m a great collector of my own pieces, I have never collected them.

Tom Wolfe