New Journalism is now Old Journalism, or at least Established Journalism (or maybe it’s morphed into New New Journalism? Who can keep track) and its only taken fifty or so years for the movement’s Grand Poobah, Tom Wolfe, to have his papers acquired by The New York Public Library.
A childhood drawing of mine hangs above my son’s changing table. It’s a mostly unremarkable work, a giant, floating rectangular head with spiky Bart Simpson hair and a nose that resembles an electrical outlet, rendered in fading green marker on flan-colored paper. And yet it has one feature that distinguishes it from the average preschooler’s half-assed artistic endeavor. Emerging from the head is a speech bubble as round and buoyant as a cumulus cloud. And inside the bubble is one word: FUCK.
The story behind the drawing is disappointingly mundane—I was coloring on the floor of my dad’s office, overheard him drop an F-bomb, asked him how to spell it and rewarded his honesty with a Take Your Daughter to Work Day souvenir that only Louis CK’s refrigerator could love—but hindsight imbues it with profane meaning.
Because some 30 years later, I am still that snub-nosed potty mouth (albeit with a neck and a few more teeth), but now the matriarch of a household in which cursing—or “cussing,” if you live in a state that contains a Waffle House franchise—is wholeheartedly embraced.
New York has an interview with Tom Wolfe, the author of the new, Miami-set book Back to Blood, which The Observer described this way: “the novel ensures that the world of ideas and of power dynamics, the only world in which Tom Wolfe feels comfortable, is one to which [racial minority characters are] not admitted.” We did pick up a few nuggets that colored our opinion of Mr. Wolfe, though:
The first person thanked in the acknowledgments of Tom Wolfe’s new novel, Back to Blood (Little, Brown and Company, 720 pp., $30), a doorstop set in Miami, is that city’s former mayor, Manny Diaz.
ROUND 'EM UP
“It’s good to see the journalism of death is alive and well,” said New Yorker editor David Remnick as he accepted the public interest Ellie for Atul Gawande’s morbid “Letting Go” at the National Magazine Awards on Monday.
The soiree at 583 Park Avenue had kicked off with a sober multimedia tribute to the late Read More
- Tom Wolfe is great for many reasons, including the fact that he wears white tuxedos and the fact that he was quoted last night blaming computer screens’ poor backlighting for the mortgage crisis. Also, his books are good.
- No. NO! A bedbug on a subway seat! No one is Read More
Lap of Luxury
Last night, at the 2nd annual Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony gala, Tom Wolfe gave a warm and witty introduction for Rolling Stone founder and publisher Jann Wenner, who was receiving a Lifetime Achievement in Magazine Publishing award. It was held at Cipriani 42nd, where the tree-trunked corinthian columns rose breathtakingly toward the ceiling’s Read More
Developer and skyscraper collector Aby Rosen is known for his flare. The 81st most powerful man in local real estate is a connoisseur whose buildings are practically an extension of his extensive art collection — for every Warhol, Hering and Hirst, there is a Seagrams Building, a Lever House, a 40 Bond. He’s Read More
In early December, I encountered four young women crying on the streets of New York City in the span of roughly two weeks. Clearly nothing to make a mountain of, but it was enough to dine out on over the holidays during the awkward pauses in the stream of the lighthearted marveling over how the Read More
It’s been a long three years for Aby Rosen.
The landlord and art collector has tried for that long to get approval for an apartment tower at Madison Avenue and 77th Street designed by British starchitect Norman Foster. He’s gone to hearing after hearing at the Landmarks Preservation Commission, repeatedly rebuffed with instructions to Read More