60+ Best Tom Wolfe Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Thomas Clayton Wolfe was an American novelist of the early twentieth century. Wolfe wrote four lengthy novels as well as many short stories, dramatic works, and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose with autobiographical writing. The most inspiring, insightful, and wittiest Tom Wolfe quotes will fire up your brain while making you laugh.

If you’re searching for wisest quotes by famous authors that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of unforgettable F. Scott Fitzgerald quotes, motivational Harlan Ellison quotes, and Robert Fulghum quotes.

Most Famous Tom Wolfe Quotes

Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick.

Peace fell upon her spirit. Strong comfort and assurance bathed her whole being.

Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into the nakedness and night again…

Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America — that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.

In Sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness…

The boy had been devoted to his father, but now the Joyners made him one of them.

Is this not the true romantic feeling; not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you.

They went to war in the West, and yet they didn’t want to go to war.

An observer would have felt in the complexion of this gathering a somewhat mixed quality–a quality that was at once strange and familiar, alien and native, cosmopolitan and provincial.

Is it the little effort which it would require that we abhor?

Inspirational Tom Wolfe Quotes

I, too, am here–here in the darkness waiting, here attentive, here approving of your labor and your dream.

Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.

This is the artist, then—life’s hungry man, the glutton of eternity, beauty’s miser, glory’s slave.

…and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.

The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.

Who has seen fury riding in the mountains? Who has known fury striding in the storm?

You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered…

The huge black snout of a mountain engine comes shifting down the track to take you up behind, and suddenly you know the hills are there.

…but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth.

From this time forth, with the sanction of the courts, they kept him.

Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot.

Is it the little labor that she asks that we begrudge?

There is no sight on earth more appealing than the sight of a woman making dinner for someone she loves.

As time went on, the necessities of competition forced him to add a lumber yard to his brick yard, but that was only a grudging concession to the time and place.

It seems to me that in the orbit of our world you are the North Pole, I the South–so much in balance, in agreement–and yet… the whole world lies between.

You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.

Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.

…we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying the darkness and we know no death.

Put destined outlook aside, stem the emotional tide, extend this choppy ride, love neither can hide.

One belongs to New York instantly, and one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.

Amazing Tom Wolfe Quotes

At this hour of the day we sicken at the Greek’s hot window.

…like a dream of death, when he who comes as mourner finds himself in the coffin, or as witness to a hanging, the condemned upon the scaffold.

Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.

Shapely mouth a chatter, makes hearts a patter, does it all matter, each live’s almost shatter.

…for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever.

If a man has talent and can’t use it, he’s failed. If he uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he uses the whole of it, he has succeeded, and won a satisfaction and triumph few men ever know.

We’ll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.

This time it was obvious that a work of more than usual magnitude was in transit.

Then summer fades and passes and October comes.

All things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth-these things will always be the same…  

He has everything and he is able to use nothing.

So now they were together. But things were not quite the same between them as they had once been. Even on the surface they were different.

Life was so solid and splendid, and so good.

Toil on, son, and do not lose heart or hope. Let nothing you dismay. You are not utterly forsaken.

Time stood still, testing one’s will, engage all thy skill, make only presence fill…

A young man is so strong, so mad, so certain, and so lost.

It is true that some of them might have known, had their interest and attention been directed toward this geographic fact, had they been looking for it.

And so it goes, everyone debating, arguing, agreeing, and denying, giving his own version and his own opinion; and Mr. Matthews asking questions and writing things down in a book…

All things on earth point home in old October; sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.

There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way.

It was like a dream of hell, when a man finds his own name staring at him from the Devil’s ledger…

Most of the time we think we’re sick, it’s all in the mind.

No longer now for them was there a single tenement and dwelling place.

And constantly search for a sign from above.

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