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Titles and twists.

An editorial in the New York Times (10 July 2013) titled "The Decline of North Carolina," laments the state's political path after Republicans gained control of all three branches of state government for the first time since Reconstruction. A letter to the editor in agreement--from Alex E. Dunn Jr. of Pompano Beach, Florida--published the next day notes that the state in which he grew up has changed, concluding, "As Thomas Wolfe, a North Carolina native son, wrote, 'you can't go home again.'"

An excerpt adapted from Angelica Huston's memoir A Story Lately Told: Coming of Age in Ireland, London, and New York (Scribner, 2013) for the November 2013 issue of Vanity Fair is titled "Look Homeward, Angelica" (198).

An inset box, "This Week," for the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal (31 August-1 September 2013) reports that the percentage of young adults (age 25-34) living with their parents increased to 14% in 2012, a gain from 13% in 2011, and up from 10% in the early 2000s. It's titled "You Can Go Home Again."

The Washington Post reported that Bill Woodward, who worked for Madeleine Albright during her tenure as Ambassador to the United Nations and then Secretary of State and also helped her write her books, was moving back to an office in Foggy Bottom doing much the same job he did two decades ago but this time for UN Ambassador Samantha Power (5 November 2013). The article, written by Al Kamen begins, "Thomas Wolfe's novel, 'You Can't Go Home Again,' obviously doesn't apply to Bill Woodward (no relation to Bob)."

First published in 2011, Look Homeward, Clockwork Angel was reissued in July 2013. For an epigraph, the authors of this popular novel in the steampunk genre--E. C. Belikov and Elias Anderson--accurately quote the first two paragraphs of Wolfe's proem to Look Homeward, Angel.

Peter Khoury's New York Times article (18 May 2013) about the "diaspora" following the death of Elaine Kaufman in 2011 and the subsequent closing of her legendary Upper East Side nightspot is "After Elaine's, You Can't Go Home Again" (C19).

John Stauffer's review of Another America: The Story of Liberia by James Ciment (Hill and Wang, 2013) in the weekend edition of the Wall Street Journal (21-22 December 2013) is boldly titled "You Can't Go Home Again" (C7).

Humorist Roy Blount Jr.'s "End of the Line" column for the December 2012-January 2013 issue of Garden and Gun magazine is about eating a hotdog from Atlanta's famous drive-in, the Varsity, during a taping of the National Public Radio show Wait Wait ... Don't Tell Me at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Blount, who is from Decatur, Georgia, was a panelist on the show, and he begins his column, "No. You can't go home again, but you can eat a Varsity chili dog in the Fox Theatre on the radio" (140).

Summing up the events of 2013 in rhyme, Ian Frazier's poem "Greetings, Friends!" in the New Yorker (on the magazine's website on 23 December) opens with "Look earthward, angels!"

Discussing new broadcast TV shows for fall 2013, Associated Press writer Frazier Moore notes the oft-used plot device of parents or children moving back home. The section is titled "They Can Go Home Again."

"Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did for Love," an installment of the PBS series American Masters (first broadcast 27 December 2013), features brief quotations by Hamlisch that help connect segments of the program. Following clips from the 1974 Academy Awards at which Hamlisch received three Oscars--and preceding a segment about the composer's return to New York to work on A Chorus Line, this text is shown on screen: "Who says you can't go home again?--Marvin Hamlisch."

Gene Fischer's column in the York News-Times (York, Nebraska), as posted on the paper's website on 15 October 2013, is titled "Thomas Wolfe's Advise [sic]" and begins: "'You can't go back home' is an oft quoted bit of the writings of Thomas Wolfe." While that's not exactly the phrase of Wolfe's that is "oft quoted," it's still an accurate variation used by Wolfe. Fischer's next paragraph is also accurate: "The quote makes more sense when one continues with '... back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time.'" Both extracts are from the italicized linking passage at the beginning of book 7, "A Wind Is Rising, and the Rivers Flow," in You Can't Go Home Again. That the two-page passage was supplied by Edward C. Aswell to connect George Webber's farewell to Germany with his concluding letter to Foxhall Edwards is not important in this case because Aswell was using Wolfe's own words--at least in the portion quoted by Fischer.

One character's diary entry, described by the narrator as "more lovesick rubbish," in Carl Hiaasen's Bad Monkey (Knopf, 2013) closes with these lines:
   If she showed up on my doorstep tomorrow I'd take her back in a
   heartbeat, and no man alive would blame me. I'd go through the
   fires of Hell and follow her anywhere, except back to Tulsa because
   I am seriously done with the Olive Garden.

   Like the book says, you can't go homeward angel. And by God I'm
   not. (268)


The first line of "The House That Built Me," a country song by Tom Douglas and Allen Shamblin, is "I know they say you can't go home again." Recorded in 2009 by Miranda Lambert for her 2010 album, Revolution, the song reached number 1 on the US Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in June 2010 and held that position for four weeks. Lambert's performance also won a Grammy in 2011. The song, including the first line, is featured in a public service ad for the Red Cross that began airing in 2013.

Barbara Burgower Hordern's article about Karl P. Adler in the spring/summer 2007 issue of Chironian, a publication of the New York Medical College, is "You CAN Go Home Again." On the contents page and the first page of her article (4), this lead-in statement appears: "Thomas Wolfe knew nothing of Karl P. Adler, M.D., when he penned his classic novel of America during a time of dramatic change--but it isn't hard to see a few parallels."
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Title Annotation:Notes
Publication:Thomas Wolfe Review
Article Type:Essay
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2013
Words:1039
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