realitycheck(dot)ie

Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Tom Wolfe on Email

Imagine what he'd say about blogging?
From today's OpinionJournal -
"Using the Internet is the modern form of knitting," he continues. "It's something to do with idle hands. When you knitted, though, you actually had something to show for it at the end. Thomas Jefferson used to answer all his mail from the day before as soon as he got up at dawn. In his position, think of the number of emails he'd have had. He never would have been Thomas Jefferson if he'd been scrupulous about answering all these things. I think email is a wonderful time-waster. It's peerless. Here it is," he concludes, "you can establish contact--useless contact--with innumerable human beings."

I'm a big Tom Wolfe fan - he's probably only fiction writer alive that I'd really like to meet. (What does that say about me??)
Why do I like him so much? The social context, man, it's all about the social context -
All of us are products of this vast plane called the social reality, the weight of the time and place we live, intersecting vertically with the individual psychology, or our impulses. And a person's psyche, to use a vague term, is the result of the intersection." He discusses the work of a path-breaking Spanish brain physiologist named Jose Delgado, who held that "each of us is a transient--that was his phrase--combination of elements from the environment. And as killing as that idea is in one sense, it's pretty close to being true. It all goes back to Hegel's original theory of the Zeitgeist, which is that each age has a moral tone--that's his phrase, too, from 1808, I think--and that you cannot escape that moral tone, no matter what you try to do, and it's going to affect your life in a fundamental way."

3 Comments:

Anonymous connor doyle said...

haha... how's this for to support your argument? i finished 'i am charlotte simmons' a couple of weeks ago -- i was stunned by his ability to put into words what i have struggled with in the past. the mastery that he displays in completely describing the contemporary american collegiate experience contrasted with the fumbling exploits of the descriptees is summed up by the mocking 'how do you like me now?' lip-curl that wolfe wears on the dust jacket. in part of my procrastination routine for final exams, i had a whim to find tom wolfe's email address in order to express my gratitude for writing the novel. a google search led me to your blog. nice page, by the way.

May 08, 2006 6:26 a.m.  
Anonymous Ivan said...

Re: fiction writers I'd like to meet.

Cormac McCarthy would be interesting too, no.

December 12, 2006 8:08 a.m.  
Blogger Morsa said...

I am writing my MA Thesis on Wolfe. I am approching Weber's ideea od status in his Bonfire and Charlotte. It would be my ultimate pleasure if I find his Email and request some help and present my gratitude.
Morteza, from Iran

July 25, 2011 8:05 a.m.  

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