8

For someone who wrote very autobiographical novels to the point of receiving death threats for his Look Homeward, Angel, I wonder whether he wrote a diary. Did he? If so, does it contradict any of his novels significantly?

4

According to Wolfe's birthplace, he kept a journal during long trips (Europe in 1924 and the Western US in 1938, his last work). The same page claims, "He once said the reason he wrote a book was to forget it." Wolfe is widely quoted as saying, “The reason a writer writes a book is to forget a book and the reason a reader reads one is to remember it.”

If he kept a journal only during certain periods, we can infer that he did not keep a journal during the other periods. If he wrote to forget, he certainly wouldn't want to keep a diary as a reminder. From what I know of his writing habits, he wouldn't have time for a diary.

There is no way to prove he didn't keep a diary, but I believe these are good reasons to think so.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.