Tom Wolfe interview in The Guardian

Here it is.

Of the politics of his novels:

[Wolfe] is "proud", he says, "that I do not think any political motivation can be detected in my long books. 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. You can call it honesty, or you can call it ego, but there it is. There is no motivation higher than being a good writer."

Of his estrangement from the liberal elite:

"Here is an example of the situation in America," he says: "Tina Brown wrote in her column that she was at a dinner where a group of media heavyweights were discussing, during dessert, what they could do to stop Bush. Then a waiter announces that he is from the suburbs, and will vote for Bush. And ... Tina's reaction is: 'How can we persuade these people not to vote for Bush?' I draw the opposite lesson: that Tina and her circle in the media do not have a clue about the rest of the United States. You are considered twisted and retarded if you support Bush in this election. I have never come across a candidate who is so reviled. Reagan was sniggered it, but this is personal, real hatred.

"Indeed, I was at a similar dinner, listening to the same conversation, and said: 'If all else fails, you can vote for Bush.' People looked at me as if I had just said: 'Oh, I forgot to tell you, I am a child molester.' I would vote for Bush if for no other reason than to be at the airport waving off all the people who say they are going to London if he wins again. Someone has got to stay behind."

Wolfe's comments in this interview dovetail nicely with the Kristof article cited by birdie, and they provide something of a response to it. I would love to hear birdie's (and anyone else's) thoughts on the Wolfe interview, whether here in a comment on this entry or in her own journal.

Comments

I probably shouldn't respond, but

Gee, unlike Mr. Wolfe, nothing is going to shock me out of my pants (until I'm ready to retire for the evening). I am not nearly as much of an eccentric (or as successful a writer) as Tom Wolfe, nor as respected a liberal journalist as Nicholas Kristof, although I'd rather be compared to Kristof, not that anyone's making any comparisons.

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