The Cool Hall of Fame #9

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Tom Wolfe

4 comments:

Rob said...

In '68 as freshman in HS, me and a buddy were admonished not to bring "The Electic Kool-Aid Acid Test" into class anymore, and his copy was confiscated. Luckily, I had my copy stashed in my locker, so it was quickly put back into circulation in the underground library. Yes, they had already banned "Catcher in the Rye", but you check out "Mr. Roberts" from schhool, and read about gambling, drunkeness, and shacking up. Go Figure.

By our senior year, such was passe', and Brautigan, Wolfe, the Mothers, and others out of the mainstream were regular readings in our English ant Fine Arts classes. ;-) I always felt my version of reality was vindicated somewhat, by then.

BCNU

Tom Sutpen said...

Why did they ban "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"? That's crazy. Every book, every word Tom Wolfe has written should be inculcated into the minds of every American student from Maine to Malibu. You'll not only get a smarter, more intellectually and socially curious generation out of it, but probably one that writes better overall.

Oddly, I can be pretty objective about almost any artist, even the ones I admire most. But all objectivity flies out the window when it comes to Tom Wolfe. He is God, as far as I'm concerned. And his ways we are not to question.

Rob said...

This was back in the day, remember, and Wolfe was not as accepted as in later times. Hell, when I was in early grade school, the admin actively discourged parents from letting little girls wear red dresses to school, as it was seen as inappropriate dress! And you expect these people to make to make good choices of which books we should read? Thank god by the time I graduated from HS, a girl could wear a leather jumpsuit, with a zipper down to there, to class - us lads needed the visual stimulation to make it thru the day. ;-) Perhaps it all lead to my interest in anything OTHER than the pablum they fed us.

BCNU

Tom Sutpen said...

Rob wrote:

This was back in the day, remember, and Wolfe was not as accepted as in later times.

*****
That's interesting. I didn't know Tom Wolfe was ever on that list of authors whose works grown-ups felt children ought not have traffic with. I know he's gotten enormous flack the last few months over his latest novel . . . which I think is a masterpiece, although it's the bleakest thing he's written to date (that might be why he's been talking about going back to non-fiction) . . . but he never struck me as the parental pariah type of that era.

Hell, when I was in early grade school, the admin actively discourged parents from letting little girls wear red dresses to school, as it was seen as inappropriate dress! And you expect these people to make to make good choices of which books we should read?

*****
It didn't get better. When I was in high school in the early 80s the only halfway decent book I was ever assigned to read was Capote's "In Cold Blood" . . . which I'd already read!!

Thank god by the time I graduated from HS, a girl could wear a leather jumpsuit, with a zipper down to there, to class - us lads needed the visual stimulation to make it thru the day. ;-) Perhaps it all lead to my interest in anything OTHER than the pablum they fed us.

*****
Hear hear. Were it not for seeing those delicate flowers blossoming into young womanhood I know my high school days would have been a period of unrelieved, brain-dehydrating boredom. Not that I did more than dream with all but two of them the entire four years, but it was truly a dream dreamt with this young lad's most constant heart all the same.