Quotations From TOM WOLFE


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  • Frankly, these days, without a theory to go with it, I can't see a painting.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. journalist, author. The Painted Word, ch. 1 (1975).
  • The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art ... is merely romantic fiction.... The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. journalist, author. The Painted Word, ch. 2 (1975).

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  • A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. The Bonfire of the Vanities, ch. 24 (1987).
  • On Wall Street he and a few others—how many?—three hundred, four hundred, five hundred?—had become precisely that ... Masters of the Universe.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. The Bonfire of the Vanities, ch. 1 (1979).
  • A cult is a religion with no political power.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. journalist, author. "Jonestown," ch. 2, In Our Time (1980).

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  • It is very comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don't put psychotics in high places and we've got the problem solved.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. journalist, author. "Jonestown," ch. 2, In Our Time (1980).

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  • The attitude is we live and let live. This is actually an amazing change in values in a rather short time and it's an example of freedom from religion.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. International Herald Tribune (Paris, September 8, 1988).

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  • Radical Chic, after all, is only radical in Style; in its heart it is part of Society and its traditions—Politics, like Rock, Pop, and Camp, has its uses.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. Essay originally published in New York (June 8, 1970). Radical Chic and Mau-Mauing the Flak-Catchers (1970).

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  • We are always acting on what has just finished happening. It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, ch. 11 (1968). Ken Kesey's philosophy.
  • We are now in the Me Decade—seeing the upward roll of ... the third great religious wave in American history.
    Tom Wolfe (b. 1931), U.S. author, journalist. "The Me Decade and the Third Great Awakening," Mauve Gloves and Madmen (1976).

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