The Bonfire of the Vanities Quotes

Rate this book
Clear rating
The Bonfire of the Vanities The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
76,843 ratings, 3.88 average rating, 3,267 reviews
The Bonfire of the Vanities Quotes Showing 1-30 of 46
“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, 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
“[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
“A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.”
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
“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
“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
“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
“Vulgar, but not as vulgar as Louis Vuitton, thought Sherman.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“The only thing that had truly stuck in Sherman's mind about Christopher Marlowe, after nine years at Buckley, four years at St. Paul's, and four years at Yale, was that you were, in fact, supposed to know who Christopher Marlowe was.”
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
“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
“and in that moment, Sherman made the terrible discovery that men make about their fathers sooner or later. For the first time he realized 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 as 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. And now that boy, that good actor, had grown old and fragile and tired, wearier than ever at the thought of trying to hoist the Protector's armor back onto his shoulders again, now, so far down the line.”
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
“All at once Sherman was aware of a figure approaching him on the sidewalk, in the wet black shadows of the town houses and the trees. Even from fifty feet away, in the darkness, he could tell. It was that deep worry that lives in the base of the skull of every resident of Park Avenue south of Ninety-sixth Street—a black youth, tall, rangy, wearing white sneakers. Now he was forty feet away, thirty-five. Sherman stared at him. Well, let him come! I’m not budging! It’s my territory! I’m not giving way for any street punks! The black youth suddenly made a ninety-degree turn and cut straight across the street to the sidewalk on the other side. The feeble yellow of a sodium-vapor streetlight reflected for an instant on his face as he checked Sherman out. He had crossed over! What a stroke of luck! Not once did it dawn on Sherman McCoy that what the boy had seen was a thirty-eight-year-old white man, soaking wet, dressed in some sort of military-looking raincoat full of straps and buckles, holding a violently lurching animal in his arms, staring, bug-eyed, and talking to himself.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Thank God in heaven! What a relief! They could let their breaths out now. Miss Efficiency was a bigot. These days the thing about bigotry was, it was undignified. It was a sign of Low Rent origins, of inferior social status, of poor taste. So they were the superiors of their English baby nurse, after all. What a fucking relief.”
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
“Само дето горките отрепки даже не заслужаваха прозвището “престъпници”, ако под “престъпник” се разбираше човек, който си има цел и я преследва с отчаяни и незаконни средства. Повечето от тях бяха простодушни каръци и гадостите, които вършеха, бяха крайно кретенски.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“He had the gaunt and haunted athletic look of those who stare daily down the bony gullet of the great god Aerobics.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“No wonder marriages used to hold up better. Sherman's parents and their friends had all had plenty of servants, and the servants had worked long hours and lived in. If you were unwilling to argue in front of the servants, then there wasn't much opportunity to argue at all.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“She was wearing a skirt and a big-shouldered jacket of a royal blue that was fashionable in France, a blue-and-white-striped silk blouse, and electric-blue lizard pumps with white calf caps on the toes.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“She’s a gambler. She’s not the type to play it safe. She likes to mix it up, and her game is—well, it’s men. Your game is the law, mine is investments, hers is men.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“By the time he reached the front door, the truth had hit him. Through stupidity, incompetence, and funk he had now managed to lose his one last hope. Oh, Master of the Universe.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Сидит и медленно вращает из стороны в сторону головой, как газонный опрыскиватель.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“yacht”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Haben Sie schon mal mit einem logisch denkenden Verrückten gesprochen? Die sind viel schlimmer als simple Verrückte.”
Tom Wolfe, Fegefeuer der Eitelkeiten
“What makes you think you can come before the bench waving the banner of community pressure? The law is not a creature of the few or of the many.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities
“Five years ago was before Walkman earphones. They can’t imagine that.”
Tom Wolfe, The Bonfire of the Vanities

« previous 1