Wolfe wrote four lengthy novel
s, plus many short stories
, dramatic works and novellas. He is known for mixing highly original, poetic, rhapsodic, and impressionistic prose
writing. His book
s, written and published
from the 1920s to the 1940s, reflect vividly on American culture
of the period, albeit filtered through Wolfe's sensitive, sophisticated and hyper-analytical perspective.
Most of the time we think we're sick, it's all in the mind.
And it was this that awed him — the weird combination of fixity and change, the terrible moment of immobility stamped with eternity in which, passing life at great speed, both the observer and the observed seem frozen in time.
It was like a dream of hell, when a man finds his own name staring at him from the Devil's ledger; like a dream of death, when he who comes as mourner finds himself in the coffin, or as witness to a hanging, the condemned upon the scaffold.
The old church, with its sharp steeple, rotted slowly, decently, prosperously, like a good man's wife.
Nacreous pearl light swam faintly about the hem of the lilac darkness; the edges of light and darkness were stitched upon the hills. Morning moved like a pearl-gray tide across the fields and up the hillflanks, flowing rapidly down into the soluble dark.
The exquisite smell of the south, clean but funky, like a big woman.
By Christmas, with fair luck, he might be eligible for service in khaki: by Spring, if God was good, all the proud privileges of trench-lice, mustard gas, spattered brains, punctured lungs, ripped guts, asphyxiation, mud and gangrene, might be his.