Friday, June 1

You Can't Go Home Again

In my mind Thomas Wolfe is running laps around every author I have read in, oh, say, the last year. Hemingway has passed out on his belly, Philip Roth has slowed to a walk and seems to be fighting a stomach cramp, why, even Camus has taken a knee and requested a glass of water. Meanwhile, Wolfe appears unwinded and dashes forth with an easy gate. Unfortunately he is also quite dead. I should note that I do not view the art of writing in these terms, a foot race. It is, however, the apparent effortlessness of Wolfe's writing that I admire in these early pages of his final novel. Of course, to call it effortless is in itself problematic, but you get the point.

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