You have reached the pinnacle of success as soon as you become uninterested in money, compliments, or publicity.— Thomas Wolfe
The most helpful Thomas Wolfe quotes that will activate your inner potential
A cult is a religion with no political power.
All things on earth point home in old October;
sailors to sea, travellers to walls and fences, hunters to field and hollow and the long voice of the hounds, the lover to the love he has forsaken.
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.
Toil on, son, and do not lose heart or hope.
Let nothing you dismay. You are not utterly forsaken. I, too, am here--here in the darkness waiting, here attentive, here approving of your labor and your dream.
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.
America - it is a fabulous country, the only fabulous country;
it is the only place where miracles not only happen, but where they happen all the time.
Is this not the true romantic feeling;
not to desire to escape life, but to prevent life from escaping you.
Making the world safe for hypocrisy.
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.
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.
My dear, dear girl [. . .] we can't turn back the days that have gone. We can't turn life back to the hours when our lungs were sound, our blood hot, our bodies young. We are a flash of fire--a brain, a heart, a spirit. And we are three-cents-worth of lime and iron--which we cannot get back.
Then summer fades and passes and October comes.
We'll smell smoke then, and feel an unexpected sharpness, a thrill of nervousness, swift elation, a sense of sadness and departure.
There is one voyage, the first, the last, the only one.
There’s no sight on earth more appealing than that of a woman making dinner for someone she loves.
The notion that the public accepts or rejects anything in modern art is merely romantic fiction. The game is completed and the trophies distributed long before the public knows what has happened.
There is no spectacle on earth more appealing than that of a beautiful woman in the act of cooking dinner for someone she loves.
The surest cure for vanity is loneliness.
In Sleep we lie all naked and alone, in Sleep we are united at the heart of night and darkness, and we are strange and beautiful asleep; for we are dying the darkness and we know no death.
You can't go home again
Loneliness is and always has been the central and inevitable experience of every man.
Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.
O lost, And by the wind grieved, Ghost, Come back again.
A liberal is a conservative who has been arrested.
There are some people who have the quality of richness and joy in them and they communicate it to everything they touch. It is first of all a physical quality; then it is a quality of the spirit.
Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years.
The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time.
And who shall say--whatever disenchantment follows--that we ever forget magic;
or that we can ever betray, on this leaden earth, the apple-tree, the singing, and the gold?
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.
Not even the most powerful organs of the press, including Time, Newsweek, and The New York Times, can discover a new artist or certify his work and make it stick. They can only bring you the scores.
I believe that we are lost here in America, but I believe we shall be found.
And this belief, which mounts now to the catharsis of knowledge and conviction, is for me--and I think for all of us--not only our own hope, but America's everlasting, living dream.
This is the artist, then, life's hungry man, the glutton of eternity, beauty's miser, glory's slave.
The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.
Death the last voyage, the longest, and the best.
Only the dead know Brooklyn.
Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America - that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement.
One belongs to New York instantly. One belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.
But why had he always felt so strongly the magnetic pull of home, why had he thought so much about it and remembered it with such blazing accuracy, if it did not matter, and if this little town, and the immortal hills around it, was not the only home he had on earth? He did not know. All that he knew was that the years flow by like water, and that one day men come home again.
Perhaps this is our strange and haunting paradox here in America -- that we are fixed and certain only when we are in movement. At any rate, that is how it seemed to young George Webber, who was never so assured of his purpose as when he was going somewhere on a train. And he never had the sense of home so much as when he felt that he was going there. It was only when he got there that his homelessness began.
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.
If a man has talent and can't use it, he's failed.
If he uses only half of it, he has partly failed. If he uses the whole of it, he has succeeded, and won a satisfaction and triumph few men ever know.
[T]he essence of belief is doubt, the essence of reality is questioning.
The essence of Time is Flow, not Fix. The essence of faith is the knowledge that all flows and that everything must change. The growing man is Man Alive, and his "philosophy" must grow, must flow, with him. . . . the man too fixed today, unfixed tomorrow - and his body of beliefs is nothing but a series of fixations.
We are always acting on what has just finished happening.
It happened at least 1/30th of a second ago. We think we're in the present, but we aren't. The present we know is only a movie of the past.
At that instant he saw, in one blaze of light, an image of unutterable conviction, the reason why the artist works and lives and has his being--the reward he seeks--the only reward he really cares about, without which there is nothing. It is to snare the spirits of mankind in nets of magic, to make his life prevail through his creation, to wreak the vision of his life, the rude and painful substance of his own experience, into the congruence of blazing and enchanted images that are themselves the core of life, the essential pattern whence all other things proceed, the kernel of eternity.
Make your mistakes, take your chances, look silly, but keep on going. Don’t freeze up.
The old hunger for voyages fed at his heart.
...To go alone...into strange cities; to meet strange people and to pass again before they could know him; to wander, like his own legend, across the earth--it seemed to him there could be no better thing than that.
Peace fell upon her spirit. Strong comfort and assurance bathed her whole being. Life was so solid and splendid, and so good.
I don't know yet what I am capable of doing, but, by God, I have genius -- I know it too well to blush behind it.
...the dark ancestral cave, the womb from which mankind emerged into the light, forever pulls one back - but...you can't go home again...you can't go...back home to the escapes of Time and Memory. You Can't Go Home Again
A young man is so strong, so mad, so certain, and so lost.
He has everything and he is able to use nothing.
It is comforting to believe that leaders who do terrible things are, in fact, mad. That way, all we have to do is make sure we don't put psychotics in high places and we've got the problem solved.