Jonathan Franzen

I think he’s one of the most misunderstood contemporary authors.

Several years back, I went to a reading he did downtown. He shared parts of what would eventually be The Discomfort Zone, and I remember being so taken by his manner–something of an intellectual realist, alarmingly self-conscious and critical of the sorts of things people should be but too frequently aren’t, both visibly nervous and in some way brave.

This recent interview doesn’t quite illuminate these things, but it offers glimmers of them every so often. (The “Avril Sévigné” thing is priceless, and, I think, a little bit heartbreaking.)

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8 responses to “Jonathan Franzen

  1. I started to read “The Corrections”, but then I realized life was too short to spend on such literary masturbation…

  2. Seriously?
    That really does break my heart.

  3. Have you ever read ‘Envy’? It’s an essay written by Kathryn Chetkovich who happens to be Jonathan Franzen’s girlfriend and also a writer, hence the title. It’s a pretty interesting story about living with a writer, especially one as brilliant as Franzen.

  4. It’s OK… We can still be friends. We don’t have to like all the same things.

  5. Oh, but we do! Isn’t that one of the rules?

  6. Literary masturbation sounds like a good thing to me.

  7. Once you’ve had literary sex, you’ll never go back to literary masturbation.

  8. I’m not sure what exactly literary sex entails and am a bit nervous to ask…

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