Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

Asheville

Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

Asheville

Article excerpt

Elsewhere, the Thomas Wolfe Memorial does get good press. In her article "Mountain Town: Laid-Back Asheville Brings a Sophisticated, Arty Flair to North Carolina's Wild West" for the May-June 2009 edition of the magazine Endless Vacation, Carrie Levine advises:

   While you're downtown, don't miss the Thomas Wolfe
   Memorial (52 N. Market St.), the childhood home of
   Asheville's most famous son. Wolfe mocked his mother's
   boardinghouse in his classic novel Look Homeward, Angel.
   It was almost destroyed by an arsonist in 1998, but
   after $2.5 million and painstaking work by scores of artisans,
   it now looks almost as it did when Wolfe lived
   there.

"Keys to the City of Asheville: The Focal Point" is a collection of themed essays about Asheville by Nancy Oakley that appears in the September 2009 issue of U S Airways magazine. The feature begins with a forest photograph and the first four sentences of chapter 15 from Look Homeward, Angel: "The mountains were his masters. They rimmed in life. They were the cup of reality, beyond growth, beyond struggle and death. They were his absolute unity in the midst of eternal change" (63).

"History: Meet Asheville's Literary Lions," is dominated by the well-known 1937 photograph of Wolfe standing in the doorway of his sister Mabel's house. Unfortunately, not only is the location misidentified in the caption as Wolfe's "parents' home," we're told that he is standing there in 1939-a statement that should have appeared in our "Believe It or Not" section. In the accompanying text, Oakley writes:

   "This town of Altamont had been settled soon after
   the Revolutionary War. It had been a convenient stopping-off
   place for cattle[-]drovers and farmers in their
   swing eastward from Tennessee into South Carolina."
   So begins the description of a thinly disguised Asheville
   in Thomas Wolfe's Look Homeward, Angel. Published in
   1929, the novel captured in detail the city's neighborhoods,
   the bustle of its square, and Wolfe's mother's
   boardinghouse on Spruce Street that is today the site of
   the Thomas Wolfe Memorial. … 
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