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  • RIP, Tom Wolfe

    As one of the founders of New Journalism, Tom Wolfe was one of those writers who managed to enthrall, entertain, and generally annoy the hell out of anybody who was in his line of sight (or pen/typewriter/computer). If you put a group of journalists together in a room (or a bar), the mere mention of his name brought equal amounts of praise and scorn.

    Wolfe’s death, yesterday at 88, was the same type of blow felt by previous generations when Hemingway, Faulkner, Steinbeck, Kerouac, or pick ‘em passed away. Literary giants, the ones whose published works resulted others spilling mass amounts of ink and type across multiple forums, just don’t come along that often.

    You can say you were a fan — or not — of Wolfe, described aptly in a New York Times appreciation as “a kind of label-maker on wheels.” But chances are you’ve used one of the phrases he coined: The Me Decade. The Right Stuff. Masters of the Universe. Radical Chic. Social X-rays. Pushing the Envelope.

    And my personal favorite: Good Old Boy. Here’s hoping, in this fractured forum we call writing, that Wolfe is not the last of his kind. Although I wouldn’t be surprised if he is. #tomwolfe