Dandy with a taste for literary spats

Trevor Butterworth in the Financial Times:

Wolfe2 The wit of Oscar Wilde is often more clever than insightful, but when he declared that “one’s first duty in life is to assume a pose”, he may have been on to something: clothes don’t just make the man; they can, if unchanging in style and sufficiently de trop, make him look ageless.

This, at least, is the impression left by Tom Wolfe as he blazes through the culinary empyrean of Café Boulud on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, trailing dash and élan among the stolidly well-heeled and sourly superannuated diners.

The writer who pioneered reporting with the intensity of literature, who gave what resulted the appearance of a movement (the “new journalism”), who chronicled the restless American spirit to the stars (The Right Stuff) and then back down into the gutter (The Bonfire of the Vanities) is, astonishingly, 77; and yet, he is still every bit the “Tom Sawyer drawn by Beardsley”, that Elaine Dundy excitedly sketched for Vogue readers in the 1960s.

More here.