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Understanding and Empathy 40

Friday, July 29, 2016

I just came upon a fascinating article in Harper's Magazine by Tom Wolfe. This is a man whose works of fiction have been entertaining readers for nearly fifty years. Among my favorites: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Right Stuff, The Bonfire of the Vanities, and A Man in Full. In my experience, few contemporary writers are able to weave together such lengthy and enjoyable stories. When I started reading The Origins of Speech, I didn't notice the name of the author, nor did it occur to me that the Tom Wolfe that I knew could possibly have been the author of such an intensely deep probe into language and linguistics. If you've ever heard of Noam Chomsky and wondered about his theory regarding the "deep structure" of language, you will want to luxuriate in the painstaking analysis of Tom Wolfe. For me, this is an enlightening step on the journey of understanding the power and scope of how and what we communicate to each other.