Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Thomas Wolfe's Father

Above Les Coleman, Candle Salesman (1995). Photograph by Nancy Fouts. Courtesy the artist.


The following is an entry from Richard S. Kennedy and Paschal Reeves, eds., The Notebooks of Thomas Wolfe. Vol 2. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1970, p. 430—

You should have known Daddy. He was the only person I have ever known who was as grand as you. He had the wild thing in him, that's what killed him. He had the most beautiful smile, the corners of his mouth and his whole face seemed to turn up and it was just as if someone had turned on a light. He was always making a joke to make people feel good: he said the funniest things, you never knew anything like it in your life; I know one time when Jessie Huge and I were going to art school together she got awfully blue because she couldn't finish the drawing she was working on. She came home with me one day and cried as if her heart would break. Daddy came in and put his arms about her and said "What's the matter?" Jessie said "I can't draw." Daddy said "Ah, my dear but you can attract." I remember he got us both to laughing so we forgot all about the drawing. He was always doing things like that.