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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Perchance to dream

In the past, when the life of letters was synonymous with culture, solitude was possible the way it was in cities where you could always, day and night, find the comfort of crowds outside your door. The point is in the continuity, in the persistence of the great conflicts. 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.

What do they expect? I like maximum diversity and contrast packed into a single exciting experience. You are commenting using your WordPress. In the last decade, the magazine whose red border twice enclosed the face of James Joyce has devoted covers to Scott Turow and Stephen King.

She lurked in airports at least before the arrival of CNN. Instead of Olympian bohter speaking to the masses below, we have matching diasporas. Compare the literature of the sunny, franzeen, peaceful West Coast.

I saw leaf-blowers replacing rakes. Where to find the energy to engage with a culture in crisis when the crisis consists in the impossibility of engaging with the culture?


In the listening audience would be my family: As I grope for my own sense of community, I distrust both a little less now.

Why Bother? by Jonathan Franzen

I began my first book as a twenty-two-year-old dreaming of changing the world. Franzen recounts his meditations on the state and possibility of the franzdn form, often against the backdrop of his personal experience, feanzen 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. But every apology and every defense seems to dissolve in the sugar water of contemporary culture, and before franzn it becomes difficult indeed to get out of bed in the morning.

Even harder to admit is how depressed I was. Science attacked religious mystery a long time ago. Finding a peer can take place as late as college. We just happen to belong to a rather strange kind of community. The writer of average talent who wants to report on, say, the plight of illegal aliens would be foolish to choose the novel as a vehicle.

The work of transparency and beauty and obliqueness that I wanted to write was shy bloated with issues. The language of literary works gives forth something different with each reading. She rode public transportation in twenty-seven different cities. You ask yourself, why am I bothering to write these books?

Why Bother? (essay) – Wikipedia

None of this stops cultural commentators — notably Tom Wolfe — from blaming novelists for their retreat from social description. Dranzen of the cherished notions of cybervisionaries is that literary culture is antidemocratic — that the reading good books is primarily a pursuit of the leisured white male — and that our republic will therefore be healthier for abandoning itself to computers.


It felt obscurely disappointing. He advocates the possibility of tragic realism as containing potential for social change. It was not, I said. In a review of The Corrections for The eXileJohn Dolan criticized the novel for not realizing Franzen’s ambition as expressed in the essay.

And so I, too, was dreaming of escape. The therapeutic optimism now raging in English literature departments insists that novels be sorted into two boxes: Expecting a novel to bear the weight of our whole disturbed society — to help solve our contemporary problems — jonatthan to me a peculiarly American delusion.

Tragic realism has the perverse effect of making its adherents into qualified optimists.

A classic work of literature is inexpensive, infinitely reusable, and, worst of all, unimprovable. To engage with it, however, is to risk writing fiction that makes the same point over and over: And, in so dealing, they come to see themselves as deeper and more capable of handling their inability to have a totally predictable life.

He asked me the questions that everybody asked me: DeLillo added a postscript: I wanted to hide from America. To write sentences of such authenticity that refuge can be taken in them: