Why Bother? And so I, too, was dreaming of escape. I wanted to hide from America. Against the advice of the husband, Otto, she has given milk to a homeless cat, and the cat has repaid the kindness by biting her hand.
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The excerpt, titled "Good Neighbors", concerned the trials and tribulations of a couple in St. Paul, Minnesota. Franzen read "an extended clip from the second chapter. Franzen has drawn what he describes as a "feminist critique" for the attention that male authors receive over female authors—a critique he supports.
An earlier draft of the manuscript, to which Franzen had made over changes, had been published by mistake. The publisher, HarperCollins, initiated an exchange program, but thousands of books had been distributed by that time. Franzen appeared alongside the headline "Great American Novelist".
What is all this other stuff? I need room to let things turn around over time and see them from the whole lives of other characters, not just the single character.
For better or worse, one point of view never seems to do it for me. In the end, Franzen rejects the goal of writing a great social novel about issues and ideas, in favor of focusing on the internal lives of characters and their emotions.
Difficult ", in The New Yorker. He begins by recounting how some readers felt The Corrections was spoiled by being too high-brow in parts, and summarizes his own views of reading difficult fiction. He proposes a "Status model", whereby the point of fiction is to be Art, and also a "Contract model", whereby the point of fiction is to be Entertainment, and finds that he subscribes to both models. It also probes the influence of his childhood and adolescence on his creative life, which is then further explored in The Discomfort Zone.
In his introduction, Franzen describes the Broadway musical version as "insipid" and "overpraised. After the Broadway show stirred up so much interest, Franzen said he was inspired to publish it because "I knew it was a good translation, better than anything else out there.
In he published Farther Away , a collection of essays dealing with such topics as his love of birds, his friendship with David Foster Wallace , and his thoughts on technology. It consists of three major essays by the "Perennially But somehow this new one really does feel like my last. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of a unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day, made more pressing by the current political milieu.
The End of the End of the Earth is remarkable, provocative, and necessary. The piece also garnered praise and support from multiple outlets    , and was named by The New Yorker as one of its top five most read articles of Philosophy of writing[ edit ] Franzen at the National Book Critics Circle awards During a lecture on autobiography and fiction, Franzen discussed four perennial questions often asked to him by audiences, all of which annoy him or bother him in some way.
These are: Who are your influences? What time of day do you work, and what do you write on? I read an interview with an author who says that, at a certain point in writing a novel, the characters "take over" and tell him what to do. Does this happen to you, too? Is your fiction autobiographical? In the lecture he said of the third question in particular "This one always raises my blood pressure" and quoted Nabokov in response. In February , Franzen along with writers such as Richard Ford , Margaret Atwood , and Anne Enright was asked by The Guardian to contribute what he believed were ten serious rules to abide by for aspiring writers.
His marriage and divorce are mentioned in some of his essays in the collection Farther Away.
JONATHAN FRANZEN WHY BOTHER PDF
Jonathan Franzen Essays reviews. But they do so with the understanding that they can no longer depend on their material, as Howells and Sinclair and Stowe did, but only on their own sensibilities, and with the expectation that no one will be reading them for news. The necessary lie of every successful regime, including the upbeat techno-corporatism under which we now live, is that the regime has made the world a better place. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the American political franzrn had set about consolidating its gains, enlarging its markets, securing its profits, and demoralizing its few remaining critics.
This long piece, originally published in that magazine in , forms the core of his new collection of essays and is by itself reason enough to read this book. Here edited and retitled as "Why Bother? Franzen describes having begun to despair over whether fiction, and even art itself, has become irrelevant and obsolete in our age of technological consumerism, when television has replaced books as the "bringer of news. She described for Franzen a class of readers for whom the "important dialogue in your life is with the authors of the books you read. Writers may not claim a central or dominant role in culture, but Franzen concludes that: "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. Because serious fiction is still where many go to find a world that is more complex than contemporary culture -- from politics to movies to pop psychology to television -- tries to suggest.
Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen