Friday, June 10, 2005

from "Seizing the Power"

by Tom Wolfe (1973)

When we talk about the 'rise' or 'death' of literary genres, we are talking about status, mainly. The novel no longer has the supreme status it enjoyed for ninety years (1875 - 1965), but neither has the New Journalism won it for itself. The status of the New Journalism is not secured by any means. In some quarters the contempt for it is boundless... even breathtaking... With any luck at all the new genre will never be sanctified, never be exalted, never given a theology. I probably shouldn't even go around talking it up the way I have in this piece. All I meant to say when I started out was that the New Journalism can no longer be ignored in an artistic sense. The rest I take back... The hell with it... Let chaos reign... louder music, more wine.... The traditions are exhausted, and no new one is yet established. All bets are off! the odds are cancelled! it's anybody's ball game! ... the horses are drugged! the track is glass! ... and out of such glorious chaos may come, from the most unexpected source, in the most unexpected form, some nice new fat Star Streamer Rockets that will light up the sky.


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