Jonathan Franzen

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steve
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Jonathan Franzen

Post by steve » August 13th, 2010, 12:39 pm

Image

Cover of TIME. Not bad!

Twenty-Seventh City
- Don't remember much of the plot, but liked the main character. Lots of Midwest nonsense.

Strong Motion - I think this is his best book. Great young characters, smart, funny, absurd.

The Corrections - Good book, but didn't hold up for a second reading. It gets down on people (mothers especially) in the second half, and the funniest parts don't overcome that.

Freedom - ???
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

elfspirit
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by elfspirit » August 16th, 2010, 8:37 pm

I only read The Corrections, and I liked it, but I'm sure you're right about it not surviving a second reading.

The irony here is that JF became famous or infamous for dissing Oprah's selections for her book club as "middle-brow." This apparently offended her to the point of disbanding the book club. He kind of apologized later, but I wonder if some intuition told him he was headed for a magazine cover.

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marilyn peake
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by marilyn peake » August 17th, 2010, 12:31 am

Interesting. Jonathan Franzen talks about his new book, and about how multi-tasking to promote books goes against the “quiet” and “still” nature of books: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/1 ... ef=twitter .
Marilyn Peake

Novels: THE FISHERMAN’S SON TRILOGY and GODS IN THE MACHINE. Numerous short stories. Contributor to BOOK: THE SEQUEL. Editor of several additional books. Awards include Silver Award, 2007 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards.

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steve
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by steve » September 20th, 2010, 12:53 pm

Finally some interesting criticism of FREEDOM.
Jonathan Franzen’s juvenile prose, with its bursts of journalese, uses of “sucked” and “very into,” creates a world where nothing important can happen.
Full article here.
Read one of the best stories by Borges.

unwieldy
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by unwieldy » September 21st, 2010, 3:13 pm

elfspirit wrote:The irony here is that JF became famous or infamous for dissing Oprah's selections for her book club as "middle-brow." This apparently offended her to the point of disbanding the book club. He kind of apologized later, but I wonder if some intuition told him he was headed for a magazine cover.
Apparently Oprah didn't let it get to her, or accepted his apology. She selected FREEDOM for her book club last week.

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polymath
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by polymath » September 30th, 2010, 2:26 pm

Jonathan Franzen's Freedom is a must-not-read for anyone with the slightest closed-mindedness or sensitive hot buttons. The novel takes a poke at everything on the public radar and much that isn't and much that's on private radars in some quarters. The novel's clashing cacaphony of character's giving voice to personal agendas drives toward a central message: The world is far more messed up than the public consciousness realizes or cares to notice.

It's a novel of player haters hating on dissenting player haters, lotharios and wannabe lotharios, clashing ideologies, and best good intentions gone awry. Fundamentally, It's a novel of freedom's harsh complications. It's written in contemporary voices, a historical documentary of life in WASP middle class U.S. America, preserving for the near future when things do finally reach a tipping-point threshold what caused it.

Freedom doesn't preach so much as paint visions of unpleasant realities and transcends both its preaching and visionary surface with mystically ironic subext. We're doomed, but we might as well have a good time until reality bites. Or it's someone else's job to save us from ourselves. Or I'm doing my part, but I'm just saving a drop in the ocean of ongoing waste-laying of our one habitable nest; why should I bother when no one else does? Or I just don't care about tomorrow.

Don't read Freedom if;
You like cats.
You hate cats.
You like literary fiction.
You hate literary fiction.
You like or hate conservatives.
You like or hate liberals.
You like or hate radicals.
You like or hate capitalists.
You like or hate environmentalists.
You like or hate rogues.
You like or hate traditionalists.
You favor population growth.
You toe any special interest group agenda's platform line.
You value your complacent apathy toward political, social, financial, and environmental issues.
You have any preconcieved notions vulnerable to change.
Spread the love of written word.

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abc
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Re: Jonathan Franzen

Post by abc » October 4th, 2010, 2:01 pm

I hate it that Franzen gets dissed for being an intellectual and a "high-brow" writer. Why does America have such distaste for intellectualism? I also read the Time piece and he comes across as much more sympathetic than you'd expect. And apparently the Oprah "diss" was taken out of context. He is overall very supportive of Oprah's book club and it's focus and support of literary fiction.

Long live Franzen!

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