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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By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Pride compels me, here, to draw a distinction between young fiction readers and young nerds. For me the work of regaining a tragic perspective has therefore involved a dual kind of reaching out: This was somewhat awkward, since her hero was the cosmopolitan Henry James.

Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen

I finished it six years older. 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. I recognize that a person writing confessionally for a national magazine may have less than triple-A credibility in asserting that genuine reclusiveness is simply not an option, either psychologically or financially, for writers born after Sputnik.

Ruth Franklin, in a review of Freedom for The New Republicfound the essay to be unfocused and ultimately inconclusive as to what the goal of the Social Novel, or the novel in general should be.

Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen | extrafilespace

By the early nineties I was as depressed as the inner city of fiction. To ignore it is to court nostalgia. And strong works of fiction are what refuse to give easy answers to the conflict, frahzen paint things as black and white, good guys versus bad guys. Do you know where you are?


To write sentences of such authenticity that refuge can be taken in them: Howell to propose to her although the only words he had ever spoken to her were How are you? I had lots of models for the kind of uncompromising novel I wanted to write.

Joseph Heller had figured out a way of outdoing the actuality, employing the illogic of modern warfare as a metaphor for the more general denaturing of American reality. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the rottenness, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the jonathsn, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to jonathann with it. And eventually it dawned on me that the despair I felt about the novel was less the result of my obsolescence than of my isolation.

Compare the literature of the sunny, fertile, peaceful West Coast. As I grope for my own sense of community, I distrust both a little less now. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Instead of Olympian figures speaking to the masses below, we have matching diasporas. Superficially, at least, regionalism is still thriving. Franzen recounts his meditations on the state and possibility of the novel form, often against the backdrop of his personal experience, eventually concluding that the novel still has potential cultural agency in the United States, and often gains it by paradoxical drives of both culture and author. After my wife and I separated for the last time, I took a job teaching undergraduate fiction-writing at a small liberal arts college, and although I spent way too much time on it, I loved the work.


I began my first book as a twenty-two-year-old dreaming of changing the world. They uonathan the main prize, the consolation for no longer mattering to a culture. But what now feels like the locus of that crisis — the banal ascendancy of television, the electronic fragmentation of public discourse — is nowhere botherr be seen in the novel. I realize that this is a dismal confession, and that my managing to slip through college without ever taking a course in either American history or American literature is hardly an excuse.

For people as protective of their privacy and as fiercely competitive as writers are, mute suffering would seem to be the safest course.

Why Bother? (essay) – Wikipedia

Rudeness, irresponsibility, duplicity, and stupidity are hallmarks of real human interaction: Simply having a parent who reads is not enough, however, to produce a lifelong dedicated reader. This, in part, is what he said: How to design a craft that can float on history for as long as it takes to build it? The Art of Bofher.

I like maximum diversity and contrast packed into a single exciting experience. Retrieved 9 February Television, radio, and photographs are vivid, instantaneous media.