Down with Wolfe

John Derbyshire quotes Wolfe:

The cool guy doesn’t flatter anybody or act obsequious or even impressed by somebody — unless it’s some athlete … and you don’t act enthusiastic unless it’s about sports, sex, or getting high. It’s okay to be enthusiastic about something like Dickens…or Foucault — or Derrida for that matter — but if you want to be cool, you don’t show it, you don’t say it, you don’t even let on. A cool guy — and I’ve seen this happen — can secretly work his ass off five — no, four — nights a week at the library, but he has to make light of it if anybody catches on. You know what the favorite major of the cool guy is? Econ. Econ is fireproof, if you know what I mean. It’s practical. You can’t possibly be taking it because you really love economics.”

I told you I was cool… although the only Foucault about which I was enthusiastic is the fictional Pendulum. I have to admit, I’m kind of kicking myself, as Charlotte Simmons is the sort of college novel I could have (and perhaps should have) written. Then again, it wouldn’t have been anywhere nearly as good as the estimable Mr. Wolfe’s.