Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

John L. Idol's Work on and Introduction to the the Web and the Root for HarperCollins and His Analysis of "Death the Proud Brother" for the South Carolina Review (See "Notes," Page 170) Were Not His Only Contributions to Wolfe Studies in 2009

Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

John L. Idol's Work on and Introduction to the the Web and the Root for HarperCollins and His Analysis of "Death the Proud Brother" for the South Carolina Review (See "Notes," Page 170) Were Not His Only Contributions to Wolfe Studies in 2009

Article excerpt

John L. Idol's work on and introduction to the The Web and the Root for HarperCollins and his analysis of "Death the Proud Brother" for the South Carolina Review (see "Notes," page 170) were not his only contributions to Wolfe studies in 2009. He also demonstrated the relevance of Wolfe's works and worldview for contemporary readers in an article written for the Raleigh News and Observer (24 April 2009). In "When the Crash Came Home" Idol points out that Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel appeared on 18 October 1929, just a few days before the stock market crash and that the ensuing Depression "became real to him, his family and friends." Idol continues:

   During much of the nation's greatest suffering from the
   economic collapse, Wolfe lived in Brooklyn, witnessing
   first-hand the desperation of working men and women.

   Back home in Asheville, a real-estate bubble burst
   explosively in his mother's face and her bank pressed
   her for payments....

   In Manhattan, princes of the business world were
   leaping to their deaths from tall buildings while the unemployed
   and homeless crowded into subway tunnels
   and public restooms for heat and shelter. Wolfe saw it
   all, felt what he saw deeply and pondered the cause.

In You Can't Go Home Again Wolfe expressed his conviction that the problem was "single selfishness and compulsive greed," which he personified as "The Enemy." Wolfe, in the guise of George Webber, explained his belief to Foxhall Edwards--fictional stand-in for Wolfe's editor at Scribner's, Maxwell Perkins. …

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