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Thomas Wolfe

Datum narození: 3. říjen 1900
Datum úmrtí: 15. září 1938
Další jména: Thomas Clayton Wolfe

Thomas Clayton Wolfe byl americký spisovatel.

Napsal čtyři dlouhé romány a mnoho novel, dramatických prací a fragmentů románů. Je známý mícháním vysoké originální, poetické, rapsodické a impresionistické prózy s autobiografickým psaním. Jeho knihy napsané a publikované ve dvacátých a třicátých letech 20. století živě reflektují tehdejší americkou kulturu a společnost a jsou filtrovány přes Wolfův senzitivní, sofistikovaný a analytický úhel pohledu. Stal se velmi slavným ještě v průběhu vlastního života.

Po jeho brzké smrti jeho současník William Faulkner řekl, že Wolfe byl nejlepší spisovatel jejich generace. Wolfe měl značný vliv i na slavného beatnického spisovatele Jacka Kerouaca, autory Raye Bradburyho či Philipa Rotha. Zůstává jedním z nejdůležitějších spisovatelů moderní americké literatury, byl též jedním z prvních mistrů autobiografické fikce. Je považován za nejslavnějšího autora pocházejícího ze Severní Karolíny.


„Mládí je něco, co mají jen mladí a čeho by jen staří dovedli moudře využívat.“

„Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.“ You Can't Go Home Again


„I have to see a thing a thousand times before I see it once.“ You Can't Go Home Again

„There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.“

„Child, child, have patience and belief, for life is many days, and each present hour will pass away. Son, son, you have been mad and drunken, furious and wild, filled with hatred and despair, and all the dark confusions of the soul - but so have we. You found the earth too great for your one life, you found your brain and sinew smaller than the hunger and desire that fed on them - but it has been this way with all men. You have stumbled on in darkness, you have been pulled in opposite directions, you have faltered, you have missed the way, but, child, this is the chronicle of the earth. And now, because you have known madness and despair, and because you will grow desperate again before you come to evening, we who have stormed the ramparts of the furious earth and been hurled back, we who have been maddened by the unknowable and bitter mystery of love, we who have hungered after fame and savored all of life, the tumult, pain, and frenzy, and now sit quietly by our windows watching all that henceforth never more shall touch us - we call upon you to take heart, for we can swear to you that these things pass.“ You Can't Go Home Again

„The whole conviction of my life now rests upon the belief that loneliness, far from being a rare and curious phenomenon, is the central and inevitable fact of human existence.“

„You can't go back home to your family, back home to your childhood, back home to romantic love, back home to a young man's dreams of glory and of fame, back home to exile, to escape to Europe and some foreign land, back home to lyricism, to singing just for singing's sake, back home to aestheticism, to one's youthful idea of 'the artist' and the all-sufficiency of 'art' and 'beauty' and 'love,' back home to the ivory tower, back home to places in the country, to the cottage in Bermude, away from all the strife and conflict of the world, back home to the father you have lost and have been looking for, back home to someone who can help you, save you, ease the burden for you, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time--back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.“

„You can't go home again“


„... a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces.

Naked and alone we came into exile. In her dark womb we did not know our mother's face; from the prison of her flesh have we come into the unspeakable and incommunicable prison of this earth.

Which of us has known his brother? Which of us has looked into his father's heart? Which of us has not remained forever prison-pent? Which of us is not forever a stranger and alone?

O waste of lost, in the hot mazes, lost, among bright stars on this weary, unbright cinder, lost! Remembering speechlessly we seek the great forgotten language, the lost lane-end into heaven, a stone, a leaf, an unfound door. Where? When?

O lost, and by the wind grieved, ghost, come back again.“
Look Homeward, Angel

„Something has spoken to me in the night... and told me that I shall die, I know not where. Saying: "[Death is] to lose the earth you know for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.“ You Can't Go Home Again

„Man is born to live, to suffer, and to die, and what befalls him is a tragic lot. There is no denying this in the final end. But we must deny it all along the way.“

„What I had to face, the very bitter lesson that everyone who wants to write has got to learn, was that a thing may in itself be the finest piece of writing one has ever done, and yet have absolutely no place in the manuscript one hopes to publish.“


„From p. 40 of Signet Edition of Thomas Wolfe's _You Can't Go Home Again_ (1940):

Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen.

The voice of forest water in the night, a woman's laughter in the dark, the clean, hard rattle of raked gravel, the cricketing stitch of midday in hot meadows, the delicate web of children's voices in bright air--these things will never change.

The glitter of sunlight on roughened water, the glory of the stars, the innocence of morning, the smell of the sea in harbors, the feathery blur and smoky buddings of young boughs, and something there that comes and goes and never can be captured, the thorn of spring, the sharp and tongueless cry--these things will always be the same.

All things belonging to the earth will never change--the leaf, the blade, the flower, the wind that cries and sleeps and wakes again, the trees whose stiff arms clash and tremble in the dark, and the dust of lovers long since buried in the earth--all things proceeding from the earth to seasons, all things that lapse and change and come again upon the earth--these things will always be the same, for they come up from the earth that never changes, they go back into the earth that lasts forever. Only the earth endures, but it endures forever.

The tarantula, the adder, and the asp will also never change. Pain and death will always be the same. But under the pavements trembling like a pulse, under the buildings trembling like a cry, under the waste of time, under the hoof of the beast above the broken bones of cities, there will be something growing like a flower, something bursting from the earth again, forever deathless, faithful, coming into life again like April.“
You Can't Go Home Again

„Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into the nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas.“ Look Homeward, Angel

„It seems to me that in the orbit of our world you are the North Pole, I the South--so much in balance, in agreement--and yet... the whole world lies between.“ You Can't Go Home Again

„He had learned some of the things that every man must find out for himself, and he had found out about them as one has to find out--through error and through trial, through fantasy and illusion, through falsehood and his own damn foolishness, through being mistaken and wrong and an idiot and egotistical and aspiring and hopeful and believing and confused. Each thing he learned was so simple and obvious, once he grasped it, that he wondered why he had not always known it. And what had he learned? A philosopher would not think it much, perhaps, and yet in a simple human way it was a good deal. Just by living, my making the thousand little daily choices that his whole complex of heredity, environment, and conscious thought, and deep emotion had driven him to make, and by taking the consequences, he had learned that he could not eat his cake and have it, too. He had learned that in spite of his strange body, so much off scale that it had often made him think himself a creature set apart, he was still the son and brother of all men living. He had learned that he could not devour the earth, that he must know and accept his limitations. He realized that much of his torment of the years past had been self-inflicted, and an inevitable part of growing up. And, most important of all for one who had taken so long to grow up, he thought he had learned not to be the slave of his emotions.“ You Can't Go Home Again

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