The Dartmouth Observer

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Monday, November 01, 2004
Tom Wolfe

I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary fiction, but am willing to make the exception for books like Tom Wolfe's upcoming I Am Charlotte Simmons. If only because 1) the book sounds suspiciously similar to F. Scott Fitzgerald's This Side of Paradise (which I have read), right down to the "roseate Gothic spires and manicured lawns suffused with tradition" that serve as the setting for Wolfe's novel; and 2) Wolfe's a man after my own heart:
So what is it about his liberal neighbours and fellow diners in his adoptive New York that Wolfe cannot abide? "I cannot stand the lock-step among everyone in my particular world. They all do the same thing, without variation. It gets so boring. There is something in me that particularly wants it registered that I am not one of them."
I'm not from New York, and don't live in a particularly liberal world at the moment, but the pleasure that one gets from standing up to conformity and conformism is too great to be discounted.