The Bonfire of the Vanities Quotes

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The Bonfire of the Vanities The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
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The Bonfire of the Vanities Quotes (showing 1-15 of 15)
“Bullshit reigns.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later... that the man before him was not an aging father but a boy, a boy much like himself, a boy who grew up and had a child of his own and, as best he could, out of a sense of duty and, perhaps love, adopted a role called Being a Father so that his child would have something mythical and infinitely important: a Protector, who would keep a lid on all the chaotic and catastrophic possibilities of life. ~Tom Wolfe”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Sir Gerald Moore: I was at dinner last evening, and halfway through the pudding, this four-year-old child came alone, dragging a little toy cart. And on the cart was a fresh turd. Her own, I suppose. The parents just shook their heads and smiled. I've made a big investment in you, Peter. Time and money, and it's not working. Now, I could just shake my head and smile. But in my house, when a turd appears, we throw it out. We dispose of it. We flush it away. We don't put it on the table and call it caviar.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“The Yanks always wore neckties that leapt out in front of their shirts, as if to announce the awkwardness to follow.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“[H]e could see the island of Manhattan off to the left. The towers were jammed together so tightly, he could feel the mass and stupendous weight.Just think of the millions, from all over the globe, who yearned to be on that island, in those towers, in those narrow streets! There it was, the Rome, the Paris, the London of the twentieth century, the city of ambition, the dense magnetic rock, the irresistible destination of all those who insist on being where things are happening-and he was among the victors!”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“How very American it was to assume that these unsmiling Chinese would be pleased if one showed a preference for their native implements...How very American it was to feel somehow guilty unless one struggled over rice noodles and lumps of meat with things that looked like enlarged knitting needles.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Like more than one Englishman in New York, he looked upon Americans as hopeless children whom Providence had perversely provided with this great swollen fat fowl of a continent. Any way one chose to relieve them of their riches, short of violence, was sporting, if not morally justifiable, since they would only squander it in some tasteless and useless fashion, in any event.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Like most men, Sherman was innocent of the routine salutatory techniques of the fashionable hostesses. For at least forty-five seconds every guest was the closest, dearest, jolliest, most wittily conspiratorial friend a girl ever had. Every male guest she touched on the arm (any other part of the body presented problems) and applied a little heartfelt pressure. Every guest, male or female, she looked at with a radar lock upon the eyes, as if captivated (by the brilliance, the wit, the beauty, and the incomparable memories).”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“In this little room full of people he was suffering the pangs of men whose egos lose their virginity—as happens when they overhear for the first time a beautiful woman’s undiluted, full-strength opinion of their masculine selves.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Sai la favola del pipistrello?
Gli uccelli e le bestie erano in guerra. Quando stavano vincendo gli uccelli, il pipistrello diceva di essere un uccello, perché sapeva volare. Quando vincevano le bestie, il pipistrello diceva di essere una bestia, perché aveva i denti.
Per questo il pipistrello non si fa vedere di giorno. Nessuno vuole guardare le sue due facce. (Pag. 614, "Il falò delle vanità")”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“His genius had only begun to flower. This was only journalism, after all, a cup of tea on the way to his eventual triumph as a novelist. ”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Then it dawned on Kramer. The cops weren’t all that much different from the assistant D.A.s. It was the muck factor. The cops got tired of packing blacks and Latins off to jail all day, too. It was even worse for them, because they had to dive deeper into the muck to do it. The only thing that made it constructive was the idea that they were doing it for somebody—for the decent people. So they opened their eyes, and now they were attuned to all the good people with colored skin…who rose to the top…during all this relentless stirring of the muck… You couldn’t exactly call it enlightenment, thought Kramer, but it was a fucking start.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Vulgar, but not as vulgar as Louis Vuitton, thought Sherman.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Your self…is other people, all the people you're tied to, and it's only a thread.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

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