Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Tom Wolfe as Dickens

I bought Tom Wolfe’s book the other day, started reading it, but then my daughter Emily took it away. Joseph Bottum convinced me that maybe I had better buy a second copy. This is a good overview of Wolfe, what the jealous Liberals think of him, why he should be compared to Dickens, why Charlotte Simmons may not be a novel, why he is worth reading: "Emile Zola was the writer Tom Wolfe recommended as the best model in the widely noted 1989 essay in which he called for America’s novelists to leave their prissy, self-absorbed concerns and go out to report on this ’wild, bizarre, unpredictable hog-stomping Baroque country of ours.’ But he mentioned Dickens along the way, and Dickens is the author to whom he is, in fact, the closest--if only because a Wolfe novel is invariably what Henry James once called books like Dickens’:

’large loose baggy monsters.’"

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