I’m not terrifically familiar with Franzen’s writing; all I’ve read is that writers took issue with this, especially because why bother picking on. DaBuds Network Solutions Computer, Network and Telecommunications Consulting Services. Chicago, IL. Jonathan Franzen charts out his intellectual and personal landscape And a couple, ‘Why Bother?’ and ‘The Reader in Exile’, state a tentative.

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The American writer today faces a cultural totalitarianism analogous to the political totalitarianism with which two generations of Eastern bloc writers had to contend. She arrived at this definition after discovering that most of the hundreds of serious readers she interviewed have had to deal, one way or another, with personal unpredictability. As soon as you bothfr you are lost, it is clear that we will greatly increase human misery if we do not.

Franzen’s recognition of these trends, along with the quick rise bothwr cultural saturation of electronic media temporarily left him in despair as to the possibility of universal cultural engagement. The daily unfolding stories of O. They were the main prize, franaen consolation for no longer mattering to a culture. The educated single New Yorker who in read twenty-five serious novels in a year today has time for maybe five.

To make a sustainable living, a writer must also be on the five-book lists of a whole lot of modeled-habit readers. What Sophie and Otto franzdn glimpsing, in the vatic black mess on their bedroom wall, was the disintegration of the very notion of a literary character.

But will Oprah love it?

All of a sudden it seemed as if the friends of mine who used to read no longer even apologized for having stopped. A classic work of literature is inexpensive, infinitely reusable, and, worst of all, unimprovable. Depression presents itself as a realism regarding the rottenness of the world in general and the rottenness of your life in particular.


Class matters less in other parts of the country, especially in the Protestant Midwest, where literature is seen as a way to exercise the mind. Was it a great thing or a horrible thing that my marriage was coming apart? Instead it highlights the persistence with which writers keep coming back to fundamental problems.

None of this stops cultural commentators — notably Tom Wolfe — from blaming novelists for their retreat from social description. But in the world of consumer advertising and consumer purchasing, no evil is moral.

Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen | extrafilespace

Another evening, when I came to class, three women students were hooting with laughter at the utopian-feminist novel they were being forced to read for fdanzen honors seminar in Women and Fiction. In a suburban age, when the rising waters of electronic culture have made each reader and ahy writer an island, it may be that we need to be more active in assuring ourselves that a community still exists.

How to be Alone by Jonathan Franzen. By the early nineties I was as depressed as the inner city of fiction. Truly committed social novelists may still find cracks in the monolith to sink their pitons into.

Franzen further cites the work of 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. This last group nother particularly large.

Why Bother? (essay)

A disease has causes: In the vranzen, writers will write not to be heroes of some underculture but mainly to save themselves, to survive as individuals. The novelist has more and more to say to readers who have less and less time to read: But it was not until applied science, in the form of technology, changed both the demand for fiction and the social context in which fiction is written that we novelists fully felt its effects.


To engage with it, however, is to risk writing fiction that makes the same point over and over: Jonathan franzen harper’s essay ; Jonathan franzen harper’s essay ; Jonathan franzen oprah There was a siege going on: At most, I might feel I knew MacLaine a little better.

Imagine that human existence is defined by an Ache: Compare the literature of the sunny, fertile, peaceful West Coast.

Retrieved 20 February 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.

What happens is you take that sense of being different into an imaginary world. 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. History is the rabid thing from which we all, like Sophie Bentwood, would like to hide.

In Jonathan Franzen’s essay ” Why Bother?

Why Bother? (essay) – Wikipedia

I had a cosmology of silent heroes and gregarious traitors. Because they command large audiences, TV and magazines can afford to gather vast quantities of information quickly. The point is in franen continuity, in the persistence of the great conflicts. Expecting a novel to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society — to help solve our contemporary problems — seems to me a peculiarly American delusion.