Tobias Wolff Message Board

Dan posts on 10/25/2007 6:04:48 PM I see your point. Tobias has a tendency to write about childhood experiences, maybe even reflections of his own. At first glance, his characters do appear "smarter" than the others, but I would argue that even the unnamed narrator in "Old School", who had made a name for himself at a New England private school, was no smarter than the rest. He struggled to find himself while growing up, struggled to get ahead of his competitors, and even plagiarized a piece of fiction in order to win an audience with Hemingway. Wolff's skilled prose is too skilled for even a well educated teenage scholar, but we must remember that it was written in the past tense, most likely years after the narrator had been kicked out.
Lauren posts on 5/17/2005 9:53:31 PM I've noticed a pattern in Wolff's writing. In most of his books, the main character is a teenage male who is smarter than the other characters. Is this because he is living his teenage years again how he wanted them to be? Because I know from "This Boy's Life" that he wasn't the brightest.

Note: the views expressed here are only those of the posters.
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