Literary Precedents for The Right Stuff

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Wolfe's originality in both style and subject is probably his most acclaimed feature. His subjects are American cultural phenomena — ranging from relatively isolated ones like Ken Kesey's Merry Pranksters or the world of customized cars to ones that become national obsessions like the Space Race.

Wolfe invariably places these phenomena in a cultural context. His characters' language, clothing, homes, vocations, and avocations become emblematic of their social standing, political convictions, and moral values.

In The New Journalism, Wolfe offers a cogent account of the development of his style. He argues that by the midtwentieth century novelists had all but abandoned realism, which Wolfe sees as the most enduring and effective method for dealing with experience.

Wolfe also provides a list of "Not Half-Bad Candidates" of literary precedents for the New Journalism. They include Boswell's diaries, Dickens's Sketches by Boz (1836), Henry Mayhew's London Labour and the...

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This section contains 220 words
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