Rundle: the krude yet kreative legacy of Tom Wolfe

18 May, 2018, 15:17 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Tom Wolfe. Twitter/@KarlSmithStudio

Wolfe worked at The Washington Post and the New York Herald Tribune, where he developed "New Journalism", a style marked by interior monologues and eccentric language. These titles put him in a class with other great writers whose titles also became films like Truman Capote (1967's In Cold Blood) and Norman Mailer (1958's The Naked and the Dead).

Tom Wolfe, an innovative journalist whose technicolour, wildly punctuated prose brought to life the worlds of California surfers, auto customisers, astronauts and Manhattans moneyed status-seekers in works such as The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, The Right Stuff and Bonfire Of The Vanities, has died.

By then he had already published a number of ground-breaking books of his own, including "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test", in which Wolfe provided a psychedelic chronicle of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they experimented with LSD.

"The Right Stuff" was adopted into a film in 1983. His last published book was 2016's "The Kingdom of Speech", which challenged society's understanding of Darwinism.

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Known for his white suits and fierce wit, Wolfe was the creator of "New Journalism", a style pioneered in the 1960s and 1970s which emphasised "truth" over facts. The novel featured Wolfe himself as a subjective participant and is celebrated as one of the seminal examples of what came to be known as New Journalism.

The NYPL is also planning a pop-up display in the same building this week to showcase a few items from the collection in tribute of the late author and journalist who died Monday in Manhattan at the age of 88.

"To be honest, I have only five more planned".

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