Literary pantheon: One Wolfe out, one Wolfe in?

“I am old enough to remember when Thomas Wolfe seemed secure in the pantheon of 20th-century American writers, the equal, nearly, of Faulkner and Fitzgerald and Hemingway. He is gone from the pantheon today, and I doubt that Tom Wolfe gets asked about his kinship to Thomas Wolfe anymore.

“The obscurity of Thomas is an odd but impressive testament to the magnitude of Tom’s fame and, more important, the vastness of his literary achievement over a career spanning a half-century.”

— From “The Right Wolfe” by Andrew Ferguson in Commentary (November 2012) 

  Tom told George Plimpton he ignores Thomas’s “fluctuations on the literary stock market.”


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