Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

Rollins Gets Rolling on Wolfe

Academic journal article Thomas Wolfe Review

Rollins Gets Rolling on Wolfe

Article excerpt

Forget about that Stearn guy's claim to being the "King of All Media." The real king is Henry Rollins, and this journal has often reported on his love of the works of Thomas Wolfe and on his fundraising efforts toward the restoration of the Old Kentucky Home. Highly recommended, for example, is a fascinating interview with Rollins conducted by Steve Shanafelt for Asheville's Mountain Xpress ("Too Much to Write," 26 May 2004). Easily accessible on the Web, the interview presents Rollins at his most effusive on Wolfe, one thought linking to another--like Julia Wolfe, but coherent. He mentions photos of Wolfe, and, Shanafelt notes, "That final subject gets Rollins rolling again." The interviewer gives a sample of that rolling torrent:

"You see all these photos of Wolfe, and he's just standing there in these clothes that it looked like he had already grew out of. You want to ask, 'What, did he grow since this morning?' It's like he couldn't find the right tailor, and if he moves his arm, he's going to tear his jacket.

"He looks like the kind of guy that would knock over the water pitcher to get to the potatoes at a dinner table," Rollins gushes on with his trademark cheerful aggression. "He'd want to eat all the food, drink all the water, say all the words and hear all the stories. And then, he'd want to run back and write 5,000 words about dinner.

"There was so much life bursting from him," Rollins adds, sympathetically, "so much lifeblood dripping from Wolfe's writing, where your only problem is that you have too much to write.

"On some days," he concludes, "you wish for that."

Jonathan Rich interviewed Rollins for Gannett on the Metromix Web site ("Henry Rollins: Speaking Out," 12 September 2012), and Rollins says:

   I've read a lot of Thomas Wolfe and think his second book, "Of Time
   and the River" is just an amazing work of a young emerging
   genius.... It has all of the youthful excess and probably could use
   an edit, but the more you read it, the more you realize it's an
   extraordinary piece of work. I keep going back to it in order to
   get energized.

On his Web site, The Paper Kingdom, Michael Channing discusses Rollins and concludes with this comment:

   I've seen him in concert half a dozen times. … 
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