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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She rode public transportation in twenty-seven different cities. Tragic realism has the perverse effect of making its adherents into qualified optimists. His concern with poverty is with a poverty fundamental to man. They were the main prize, the consolation for no longer mattering to a culture. Simply to be recognized for what I was, simply not to be nonathan Franzen suggests that the writing that shares the most political agency and aesthetic dignity would embody the values of expressive languageand urging the reader to look beyond appearances.

Nabokov pretty well summed up the political platform that every novelist can endorse: Truly committed social novelists may still find cracks in the monolith to sink their pitons into.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: I began my first book as a twenty-two-year-old dreaming of changing the world. Franzen further cites the work franze Anthony Lane suggesting that while the majority of best-selling novels are of low quality, the trend holds true for a good deal of the history of the reading public. Ringing the depressed urban core of serious fiction were franzeb new suburbs of mass entertainments.


The essence of fiction is solitary work: 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. The American writer today faces a cultural totalitarianism analogous to the political totalitarianism jonnathan which two generations of Eastern bloc writers had to contend.

Where, where is the mortal who wins more of happiness than just the seeming, and, after the semblance, a falling away? As I grope for my own sense of community, I distrust both a little less now.

Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen

The current flourishing of novels by women and cultural minorities shows the chauvinism of judging the vitality of American letters by the fortunes of the traditional social novel. Retrieved 28 April After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the American political economy had set about consolidating its gains, enlarging its markets, securing its profits, and demoralizing its few remaining critics. There was a siege going on: After my nother and I separated for the last time, I took a job teaching undergraduate fiction-writing at a small gother arts college, and although I spent way too much time on it, I loved the work.

Franzen also notes the novel’s possible interpretation that in such times literary representation may fail to rise to desperate settings, surmising that the novel may precede Phillip Roth’s declaiming of the realistic novel in the s.

Heath has noticed this circumstance, and although she emphasized to me that she has not polled everybody in America, her research effectively demolishes the myth of the general audience. Howell to propose to her although the only words he had ever spoken to her were How are you?

Less often remarked is the way in which they are changing both our expectations of entertainment the book must bring something to us, rather than our bringing something to the book and the very content of that entertainment.


And if multiculturalism succeeds in making us a nation of independently empowered tribes, each tribe will be deprived of the comfort of victimhood and be forced to confront human limitation for what joathan is: She wants to be spared the pain of confronting a future beyond her life with Otto. Franzen also cites some promise in Heath’s research, finding that those who frequently read substantive fiction are those who find themselves emancipated from their original cultural heritage, making their reading a source of personal and intellectual integrity.

But this would have missed the point. Now the distance between author and reader is shrinking.

“Why Bother?” | New Literature

This page was last edited on 28 Juneat You are commenting using your WordPress. I was depressed, though, to learn that several of my best writers had vowed never to take a jonathxn class again. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Even harder to admit is how depressed I was.

Perchance to dream

Reading is an ethnically diverse, socially bothet activity. A classic work of literature is inexpensive, infinitely reusable, and, worst of all, unimprovable. My appearance on KMOX was indicative. To the angry callers demanding to know why I hated St.

Silence, however, is a useful statement only if someone, somewhere, expects your voice to be loud.