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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A disease has causes: Symptoms of Disease canonical work from the Dark Ages before and Medicine for a Happier and Healthier World the work of women and of people from nonwhite or nonhetero cultures. But, for some of these writers, reticence is integral to their artistic creed. JonathanfranzenessaywhybotherFoto: A reduced context but a more intense one. But every apology and every defense seems to dissolve in the sugar water of contemporary culture, and before long it becomes difficult indeed to get out of bed in the morning.

Why Bother? (essay) – Wikipedia

Jonathan Franzen Why Bother Essay. Works by Jonathan Franzen An ink bottle, which now seems impossibly quaint, was still thinkable frannzen a symbol in This was somewhat awkward, since her botheg was the cosmopolitan Henry James.

That all these trends are infantilizing has been widely noted. But money cannot solve the problem of bad manners — the chatterer in the darkened movie theater, the patronizing sister-in-law, the selfish sex partner — except by offering refuge in an atomized privacy.

Why Bother? (essay)

My nature had been waiting for me all along, and now it welcomed me. I was also considering that for me, today, there is nothing sexier than a reader. How did it feel to get such good reviews?

How can it compete with a system — screen your calls; go out by modem; acquire the money to deal exclusively with the privatized world, where workers must be courteous or lose their jobs — that spares you the sting in the first place? The invitation to leave your depression behind, whether through frabzen or therapy or effort of will, seems like an invitation to turn your back on all your dark insights into the corruption and infantilism and feanzen of the brave new McWorld.


How awkward, then, that for me the beacon in the murk — the person who inadvertently did the most to get me back on track as a writer — should have been a social scientist who was studying the audience for serious fiction in America. And these insights are the sole legacy of the social novelist who desires to represent the world not simply in its detail but in its essence, to shine light on the morally blind eye of the virtual whirlwind, and who believes that human beings deserve better than the future of attractively priced electronic panderings that is even now being conspired for them.

And the problem is aggravated when fiction writers take refuge in university creative-writing programs. If we go any further than that, our agendas begin to diverge radically. For a long time, Franzen felt these issues almost too keenly on his own pulse.

Instead of Olympian figures speaking to the masses below, we have matching diasporas. The language of literary works gives forth something different with each reading. Franzen also notes that while America has always been at least in part, controlled by oppressive commerce, it has also had its victim-conquerors such as Herman Melvillewho worked in spite of mental illness to deliver democratic art.

Heath’s interviews generally consist of discovering from individuals reading “substantive works of fiction” why they are reading, rather than using electronic media to stave off boredom. Franzen further cites the work botehr Anthony Lane suggesting that while the majority of best-selling novels are of low quality, the whhy holds true for a good deal of the history of the reading public. Farther Away is a book for literature nerds—more specifically, for literature nerds who know Jonathan Franzen and his work.

Retrieved 9 February The black lines on the wall are both a mark of doom and the harbinger of an extraordinary relief, the end to a fevered isolation. As the social stigma of depression dwindles, the aesthetic stigma increases. To ignore it is to court nostalgia.

To engage with it, however, is to risk writing fiction that makes the same point over and over: This disambiguation franxen lists articles associated with the title How to Be Alone. The essays in this collection act as what Hollywood scriptwriters love to refer to as a ‘back story’.


Jonathan Franzen Why Bother Essay

But what now feels like the locus of that crisis — the banal ascendancy of television, the electronic fragmentation of public discourse — is nowhere to be seen in the frajzen. In ” Why Bother ,” a revised version of the infamous Harper’s essay You ask yourself, why am I bothering to write these books?

Ringing the depressed urban core of serious fiction were prosperous new suburbs of mass entertainments. Reading Franzen’s essay was like a lightning bolt of First there was mass suburbanization, then the perfection of at-home entertainment, and finally the creation of virtual communities whose most striking feature is that interaction within them is entirely optional — terminable the instant the experience ceases to gratify the user.

A generation ago, by paying close attention, Paula Fox could discern in a broken ink bottle both perdition and salvation. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: The point of calling serious fiction tragic is to highlight its distance from the rhetoric of optimism that so pervades our culture.

“Why Bother?” | New Literature

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. Therapists and ministers who counsel troubled people tend to read the hard stuff. Any given issue of the typical small literary magazine, edited by MFA candidates aware that the MFA candidates submitting manuscripts need to publish in order to bohter or hold on to teaching jobs, reliably contains variations on three generic short stories: For a person to sustain an interest in literature, she told me, two things have to be in place.

We live in a tyranny of the literal. In fact, it can make you hypersocial. Michael Bourne is a staff writer for The Millions and a