The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Tom Wolfe Speaks. Yes!

A week or so from the official publication of his new novel, "I Am Charlotte Simmons", one of America's greatest writers gives an accounting of himself in the following interview:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uselections2004/story/0,13918,1340525,00.html

1 comment :

Sister Ray said...

as usual, the articulate gadfly. saw him in a discussion (more quasi-debate, actually) a year or so back, during "brainwave"--a series of intimate discussions on new researches in cognition studies at the rubin center over in south chelsea. he was pitted against steven pinker, one of the leaders in linguistic studies and the origin of thought in human cognition. which meant, mostly, tom giving out with these elaborate set-ups to questions that went on three times as long as steven's answers. tom is an advocate of the "hard problem/easy answers" school that says, in effect: the brain cannot know the mind because you can only describe what the latter is with its own tools, so just admit its impossible and we can all gt on to better things. pinker is in, generally, "easy problem/hard science" camp, wherein, the combination of neural pathway and mapping data (from MRIs, CATscans, etc.) and other stimulus/response experiments provides a sound enough basis for making certain claims about the source of some cross-cultural traits, especially those that show up in his particular field. (i could go ono and on about this. dunno how many people are as interested as i.) the upshot is that, at the end, there was a very brief Q&A and i managed to get one question out about how the brain is, seemingly, hot-wired for metaphor. this is a major thesis of pinker and his field, and which wolfe, total contrarian that he is, immediately disparaged. "i don't even know what a metaphor is!" an imperious and amused tone that thrilled me even as i was flabbergasted by such a bald-faced lie!
that being said, i only add this in to say how much i've loved every book he's written and even that one eye contact is enough to make me feel sorely chuffed.