I’m not terrifically familiar with Franzen’s writing; all I’ve read is that essay everyone writers took issue with this, especially because why bother picking on I had the opportunity to meet Jonathan Franzen this past October. Jonathan franzen essay why bother. Theology essay scientific revolution thematic essay conclusion, ward churchill september Franzen, Jonathan. How to be alone: essays /Jonathan. Franzen.—1st ed. p. cm. . retitled it “Why Bother?”) .. no memory of being bothered.

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Ringing the depressed urban core of serious fiction were prosperous new suburbs of mass entertainments.

Perchance to dream

A new book by Thackeray or William Dean Howells was anticipated with the kind of fever that a late-December film release inspires today. Communion with the virtual community of print requires solitude, after all. I wanted to hide from America. Various Heathian dramas of social isolation are no doubt being played out here. What Sophie and Otto were glimpsing, in the vatic boother mess on their bedroom wall, was the disintegration of the very notion of a literary character.

Why Bother? (essay)

By continuing to hother this website, you agree to their use. In the listening audience would be my family: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

In a review of The Corrections for The eXileJohn Dolan criticized the novel for not realizing Franzen’s ambition as expressed in the essay. Franzen’s recognition of these trends, along with the quick rise and cultural saturation of electronic media temporarily left him in despair as to the possibility of universal cultural engagement. And such privacy is exactly what the American Century has tended toward. The Discomfort Zone The reader laughs with the writer, feels less qhy with the sting.


The writer of average talent who wants to report on, say, the plight of illegal aliens would be foolish to choose the novel as a vehicle.

“Why Bother?” | New Literature

Novels, after all, fganzen sometimes ignite political debates or become embroiled in them. Writing is a form of personal freedom. But money cannot solve the problem of bad manners — the chatterer in the darkened movie theater, the patronizing sister-in-law, the selfish sex partner — except by offering refuge in an atomized privacy.

Communication for the Bentwoods meant books, a telephone, and letters. In a suburban age, when the rising waters of electronic culture have made each reader and each writer an island, it may be that we need to be more active in assuring ourselves that a community still exists.

This last group is particularly large. Retrieved 20 February So that when Dr. A young acquaintance who had been an English major, when I asked her what she was reading, replied: But in the world of consumer advertising and consumer purchasing, no evil is moral. Here, indeed, we are up against what truly seems like the obsolescence of serious art in general.


But what now feels like the locus of that crisis — the banal ascendancy of television, the electronic fragmentation of public discourse — is nowhere to be seen in the novel. I saw CNN holding hostage the travelers in airport lounges and the shoppers in supermarket checkout lines.

Perchance to dream | Harper’s Magazine

A generation ago, by paying close attention, Paula Fox could discern in a broken ink bottle both perdition and salvation. Whether they think about it or not, novelists are preserving a tradition of precise, expressive language; a habit of looking past surfaces into interiors; maybe an understanding of private experience and public context as distinct but interpenetrating; maybe mystery, maybe manners.

Tragic realism has the perverse effect of making its adherents into qualified optimists. Not only did I feel that I was different from everyone around me, but I felt that the age I lived in was utterly different from any age that had come before. Ditto the writer who wants to offend prevailing sensibilities. This is very, very difficult to uncover in an interview.

I saw leaf-blowers replacing rakes. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.