Get 20M+ Full-Text Papers For Less Than $1.50/day. Start a 14-Day Trial for You or Your Team.

Learn More →

Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe

Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe by Terry Roberts When Thomas Wolfe died of tubercular meningitis on September 15, 1938, his literary reputation was equal in the United States to that of Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. In the sixty plus years since, his artistic reputation has been all but destroyed. With the exception of his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, he is read less and less often, and the academics who design anthologies and teach influential college courses routinely dismiss his work. So on the 100th anniversary of his birth, we are compelled to ask, Who killed Thomas Wolfe? By far the most common image of Wolfe is that of a bloated, selfobsessed Romantic, whose emotions are so intense and whose rhetoric is so inflated that critics assume he must have had almost no artistic or selfcontrol. And indeed, from his earliest success with Look Homeward, Angel (published in October 1929), Wolfe was an easy figure to satirize. First, there is the writing itself. As David Donald wrote in introducing his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, "Thomas Wolfe wrote more bad prose than any other major writer I can think of " (xiii).1 Further, there was the man's life, certainly no more dramatic http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Southern Literary Journal University of North Carolina Press

Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe

The Southern Literary Journal , Volume 33 (1) – Dec 1, 2000

Loading next page...
 
/lp/university-of-north-carolina-press/resurrecting-thomas-wolfe-EblB0I58nt
Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2000 Department of English of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
ISSN
1534-1461
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Resurrecting Thomas Wolfe by Terry Roberts When Thomas Wolfe died of tubercular meningitis on September 15, 1938, his literary reputation was equal in the United States to that of Faulkner, Hemingway, and Fitzgerald. In the sixty plus years since, his artistic reputation has been all but destroyed. With the exception of his first novel, Look Homeward, Angel, he is read less and less often, and the academics who design anthologies and teach influential college courses routinely dismiss his work. So on the 100th anniversary of his birth, we are compelled to ask, Who killed Thomas Wolfe? By far the most common image of Wolfe is that of a bloated, selfobsessed Romantic, whose emotions are so intense and whose rhetoric is so inflated that critics assume he must have had almost no artistic or selfcontrol. And indeed, from his earliest success with Look Homeward, Angel (published in October 1929), Wolfe was an easy figure to satirize. First, there is the writing itself. As David Donald wrote in introducing his Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, "Thomas Wolfe wrote more bad prose than any other major writer I can think of " (xiii).1 Further, there was the man's life, certainly no more dramatic

Journal

The Southern Literary JournalUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Dec 1, 2000

There are no references for this article.