I know exactly what Tom Wolfe means:

"When I see something occur that might be repulsive to me, my reaction is not one of repulsion. My reaction is, 'I can use that.' That's good. It's a happy feeling. Every reporter knows that, in those too-rare moments when we know we are getting something. I call it egotistical objectivity."

Although I don't at all agree with his conclusion.

"Whether we're talking about this war, or we are fighting another war down the road, it matters that we do the job of writing the story well. That means more than the outcome of any cause on earth."

I suppose it's typical that a writer would believe writing to be the most important thing in the world. Likewise, naturally, lawyers, doctors, bankers, electricians, garbage men, students, and so forth.

Still, that first paragraph is enough to make me buy his most recent book, I Am Charlotte Simmons -- nothing is more satisfying than reading a perfect description of something you've felt but hadn't been able to quite put into words.



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