The Painted Word

Tom Wolfe

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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"America's nerviest journalist" (Newsweek) trains his satirical eye on Modern Art in this "masterpiece" (The Washington Post)

Wolfe's style has never been more dazzling, his wit never more keen. He addresses the scope of Modern Art, from its founding days as Abstract Expressionism through its transformations to Pop, Op, Minimal, and Conceptual. This is Tom Wolfe "at his most clever, amusing, and irreverent" (San Francisco Chronicle).

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Book Excerpts

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Chapter One

The Apache Dance

ALL THE MAJOR MODERN MOVEMENTS EXCEPT FOR DE STIJL, Dada, Constructivism, and Surrealism began before the First World War, and yet they all seem to come out of the 1920s. Why? Because it was in the 1920s that Modern Art achieved social chic in Paris, London, Berlin, and New York. Smart people talked about it, wrote about it, enthused over it, and borrowed from it. Borrowed from it, as I say; Modern Art achieved the ultimate social acceptance: interior decorators did knock-offs of it in Belgravia and the sixteenth arrondissement.

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Reviews

Praise for The Painted Word

"If you have ever stared uncomprehendingly at an abstract painting that admired critics have said you ought to dig, take heart. Tom Wolfe . . . is on your side. The Painted Word may enrage you. It may confirm your darkest suspicions about Modern Art. In any case, it will amuse you."--New York Sunday News

"Tom Wolfe is a journalist who always manages to combine an encyclopedic store of inside knowledge with the obstinate detachment of a visitor from Mars, not to mention a brilliant style and incisive wit."--San Francsico Chronicle

"The Painted Word may well be Tom Wolfe's most successful piece of social criticism to date."--The New York Times

"The Painted Word is a masterpiece. No one in the art world . . . could fail to recognize its essential truth. I read it four times, each of them with mounting envy for Wolfe's eye, ear, and surgical skill."--The Washington Post

"His eye and ear for detailed observations are incomparable; and observation is to the satirist what bullets are to a gun."--The Boston Sunday Globe


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About the Author

Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe is one of the founders of the new journalism movement and author of such contemporary classics as The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, A Man in Full and I Am Charlotte Simmons. A native of Richmond, Virginia, he earned his B.A. at Washington and Lee University and a Ph.D. in American studies at Yale. He lives in New York City.

Tom Wolfe

Copyright Mark Seliger
Tom Wolfe

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Painted Word
Tom Wolfe

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
October 2008
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429961202
ISBN10: 1429961201
128 pages
$9.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
October 2008
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312427580
ISBN10: 0312427581
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 112 pages, Includes 30 black-and-white photographs and illustrations
$14.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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