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  1. #1

    Tom Wolfe passes

    One of my favorite authors.

    Electric Koolaid and The Right Stuff are two of my favorite books of all time.
    ~rthomas

  2. #2
    RIP.

    His daughter also went to Duke and he gave the commencement speech in 2002.

  3. #3
    IMO, one of the GOAT!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    San Diego, California
    This Michael Lewis Vanity Fair piece on Wolfe, his favorite author, is well worth it.

    How Tom Wolfe Became Ö Tom Wolfe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Vermont
    I saw Tom cavorting about the Magnolia Grill a few times when I was there tanking up on martinis...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North of Durham
    I unfortunately never read it (still on my to do list), but I believe his third novel, Charlotte Simmons, was supposed to be largely based on Duke, particularly since his daughter went there. I read Bonfire and A Man in Full and greatly enjoyed them both. As one who worked in the bond business in NY for a while, briefly lived in Atlanta and went to Duke, I always felt connected to his book topics, though I have no link to his final novel about Cubans in Miami.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by CrazyNotCrazie View Post
    I unfortunately never read it (still on my to do list), but I believe his third novel, Charlotte Simmons, was supposed to be largely based on Duke, particularly since his daughter went there. I read Bonfire and A Man in Full and greatly enjoyed them both. As one who worked in the bond business in NY for a while, briefly lived in Atlanta and went to Duke, I always felt connected to his book topics, though I have no link to his final novel about Cubans in Miami.
    I Am Charlotte Simmons is not as highly-regarded as most of his other works, but it kept me turning pages, and had the ring of truth ... sadly.

    Dupont Univ. is a composite, but if it's not mostly Duke, then the several colleges at which he did his research have much more in common than they'd probably care to admit.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    Dupont Univ. is a composite, but if it's not mostly Duke, then the several colleges at which he did his research have much more in common than they'd probably care to admit.
    Wasn't there a character that was basically JJ Redick? I remember Wolfe being sorta defensive that it wasn't meant to be Duke... but I also remember reading it and thinking there were way too many similarities for it to not essentially be based on Duke.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Forest Hills, NY
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    RIP.

    His daughter also went to Duke and he gave the commencement speech in 2002.
    Was in my sonís class.

  10. #10

    "he first looks for the status system of the people involved"

    The daughter interviews the father: https://www.wsj.com/articles/tom-wol...eur-1472750164

    I saw Tom Wolfe speak at a university about a decade ago -- I guess he was doing research then for his book on language referenced in the piece linked above -- and he seemed a creationist then, noting (as I recall) that the jump from organisms w/out to those with language/speech was too great to have happened in an evolutionary manner.

    He also told tales of "Maggie of the Stacks" (of the Yale Library) and the "season of the rising sap." God, he was terrific.

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    I Am Charlotte Simmons is not as highly-regarded as most of his other works, but it kept me turning pages, and had the ring of truth ... sadly.

    Dupont Univ. is a composite, but if it's not mostly Duke, then the several colleges at which he did his research have much more in common than they'd probably care to admit.
    Yeah people speculated that it was based on Duke, but he stated it was a combination of places that served as part of the inspiration.

    "Wolfe researched the novel by talking to students at North Carolina, Florida, Penn, Duke, Stanford, and Michigan. Wolfe suggested it depicts the American university today at a fictional college that is 'Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Duke, and a few other places all rolled into one.' "

    There's also a St. Ray's fraternity whereas there's a St. A's at Penn, so he probably took stuff from everywhere and we're just more attuned to the Duke similarities.

  12. #12
    We are alums of the same prep school in Richmond, and I vividly remember the powers that be shuttling classes to showings of The Right Stuff. I always wished that he would pay a visit to St. Christopher's while I was there, but he showed up several years later for his 50th anniversay. His parties in NYC were epic. I now live in the Triangle, but I imagine that it's been a sad month in Richmond with Tom Wolfe passing away and Vic Bubas being interred up there.

  13. #13
    Thought of this feud this morning. I very much sided with Wolfe; can't stand Updike.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...n.artsfeatures

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by devilirium View Post
    We are alums of the same prep school in Richmond ...
    As is Duke Law grad (and current S. Ct. commentator) Garrett Epps, I believe. Epps presents a fictionalized account of the school in his late 1970s entertaining political novel "The Shad Treatment" (which at the end foreshadows the Confederate monument debates of today, but is mostly about the political players in Virginia in the 1960s and 70s).

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    Wasn't there a character that was basically JJ Redick? I remember Wolfe being sorta defensive that it wasn't meant to be Duke... but I also remember reading it and thinking there were way too many similarities for it to not essentially be based on Duke.
    Jojo Johannson

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by Reilly View Post
    As is Duke Law grad (and current S. Ct. commentator) Garrett Epps, I believe. Epps presents a fictionalized account of the school in his late 1970s entertaining political novel "The Shad Treatment" (which at the end foreshadows the Confederate monument debates of today, but is mostly about the political players in Virginia in the 1960s and 70s).
    Ahh, I know that name in Richmond circles. Thanks for the tip.

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by Wander View Post
    Wasn't there a character that was basically JJ Redick? I remember Wolfe being sorta defensive that it wasn't meant to be Duke... but I also remember reading it and thinking there were way too many similarities for it to not essentially be based on Duke.
    To the best of my limited knowledge, Redick's situation wasn't much at all like Jojo's. They were both white, and have names that have some Js. That's about it.

    I suspect there are certain archetypal events and situations in college that some of us may mistakenly think are idiosyncratic to Duke.

    I can't recall if Dupont U was actually said to be located in North Carolina. But Charlotte Simmons was from NC. And Dupont was a mid-size, elite private university with gothic architecture and an outstanding basketball program, whose players are seldom seen in ordinary student circles, but are regarded like living gods. Dupont also was characterized as having an undergraduate population that, to a surprising degree, went from being top-shelf HS kids to kids who are no longer as interested in the life of the mind as with alcohol, sex, and most of all, social status.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by cspan37421 View Post
    ... I can't recall if Dupont U was actually said to be located in North Carolina ...
    Set in Chester, PA, I believe.

  19. #19
    Nice overview here: http://www.achievement.org/achiever/...lfe/#biography

    And a neat letter he wrote to the buyer of his boyhood home:

    https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.town...f1e7e7.pdf.pdf

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bluedog View Post
    ... His daughter also went to Duke ...
    As did his sister, getting a master's later in life: https://ead.lib.virginia.edu/vivaxtf...va/vi00277.xml

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