profiled by Wolfe in the essay "The Last American Hero ..
In 1989 Wolfe outraged the literacy community with an essay in Harper's called "Stalking the Billion-footed Beast." In it he argued that the only hope for the future of the American novel was a Zolaesque naturalism in which the novelist becomes the reporter-as he had done in writing , which was recognized as the essential novel of America in the 1980s.
The Last American Hero Is Junior Johnson. Yes! - Tom Wolfe
In 1962 Wolfe became a reporter for the New York Herald-Tribune and New York magazine, and the following year he began an article about custom-car aficionados in Southern California for Esquire magazine. He had great difficulty trying to arrange his notes into a traditional article, and when he reached his deadline, he simply provided his notes as they were—a mixture of fact, personal observation, opinion, and literary-style description—to the magazine editor. The editor ran the notes untouched, and a new style of journalism—referred to as ”New Journalism”—was born. Quite by accident, Wolfe realized that what would otherwise have been a bland and structurally rigid form-magazine article was transformed into an exciting and creative literary journalism that, while still factual, sounded like a novel. By applying the stylistic techniques usually associated with fiction writing to factual data collected from exhaustive research, Wolfe could produce an audience-involving, realistic nonfiction.
The fictionalized account of the life of Junior Johnson, heavily borrowing from Tom Wolfe’s article for Esquire magazine of the same title. The Last American Hero stars a young Jeff Bridges in the title role, as a moonshiner-turned-NASCAR champion. This movie, and the Esquire story it’s based on, accounts for about 95 percent of the urban myth associated with NASCAR racing in its nascent days. It’s a tough film to find now, but it’s well worth watching.
I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe in FB2, ..
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"The right stuff," "radical chic," and "the Me Decade" (sometimes altered to "the Me Generation") all became popular phrases, but Wolfe seems proudest of "good ol' boy," which he introduced to the written language in a 1964 article in Esquire about Junior Johnson, the North Carolina stock car racing driver, which was called "The Last American Hero."
The Last American Hero by Tom Wolfe -EXCERPT: ..
The foremost theorist and best-known practitioner of New Journalism, Tom Wolfe has become almost synonymous with the journalistic movement he helped foster in the mid-1960s. After several books and numerous articles, Wolfe’s writings continue to provoke and sustain debate. Whatever his future literary offerings, Wolfe thus far has delivered a bursting portfolio of provocative observations and thoughts. When students of American culture look back on the last third of the twentieth century, Wolfe may well be the person toward whom they turn. More than any other fiction or nonfiction writer, he has recorded in detail the popular mentality of the period.