Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Tom Wolfe...

I've been reading I am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe. So far I like it. But I've been reading these criticisms of it and some just don't make sense. They mostly claim that Tom Wolfe is low brow and not really "literary". Who cares. Is the book good or not. Judge the book on it's value not whether or not you want to call it literature. Wolfe has always been good at studying a section of culture. He actually spend enormous amounts of time on university campuses and talked to many students. This is a man in his 60's. What he has to say may not draw a perfect picture of a college campus but it does present some good character studies and accurately portrays portions of college life in today's society. Sure in 700 pages you might think he could be very accurate but he is not doing a research paper he wrote a novel. Novels are also supposed to be entertaining. Here is a quote I got from one response to the book.

What is a real university in the actual 21st century actually like? It's a research institution; an intergenerational transfer station for high culture; a talent sorting mechanism, and thus a gateway to the professions; and a (give or take) four-year holding pen for the children of the bourgeoisie.

To me, this person doesn't make a good case for ALL of today's college students any better than Wolfe. But that wasn't Wolfe's point was it? He was writing for entertainment as well as enlightenment.

If you want to read someone else's comments.



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