Farther Away has ratings and reviews. MJ said: Franzen’s second collection of non-fic trimmings is as strong as his first, albeit slacking on t. Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen – review. Jonathan Franzen meditates on marriage and mobiles in these largely brilliant essays. Geoff Dyer. Jonanthan Franzen Farther Away (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, ). It happened on a mercifully temperate June afternoon out in front of the.
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A willowy brunette with flowing, Botticelli-esque hair stood at a rickety folding table, a winsome expression on her face as she tried to ftanzen in random passersby. People taking in the scene that day in Brooklyn giggled and broke into spontaneous grins. And it was delightful—adorable really—like something out of a Beverly Cleary book. Once upon a time, novelists regularly graced the afrther of Time magazine and people anticipated the books of writers like John Updike and Bill Styron with the same fervor they now reserve for the Olympics.
ESSAYS: “Farther Away,” by Jonathan Franzen –
Were we now reduced to hawking our wares from street stalls, like funnel cake salesmen? My intention here is not to mortify Miller. Like many writers, she was just trying to solve an intractable problem: How does an unknown writer garner attention for her work in an era when publishing budgets are contracting in direct proportion to the shrinking pool of readers?
Writers used to worry about getting published. After that, the system frznzen over. Now, for all but the most famous, getting published is only the first step in an increasingly harrowing process of self-marketing. Writers not lucky enough to crest a particular wave of the zeitgeist are now required to spend so much time burnishing their online images Facebook, then Twitter, then Tumblr, oh my!
Nor is it writers like Emma Straub, whose natural charisma makes using these tools look easy. The problem is that when writers are forced to focus too hard on their own curb appeal they run the risk of becoming just another commodity.
When likeability starts to trump substance, books and their authors are in danger of becoming sad, anemic creatures. And these are just his most noteworthy offenses. Really, the man trails faux pas behind him like toilet paper. If you were feeling uncharitable, you could make the argument that Franzrn Away is less a philosophical treatise than an exercise in self-defense.
Franzen, unlike, say, Philip Roth, is not some solipsistic misanthrope. On the contrary, his fiction is full of the anguish of trying to connect. And lucky for us, because it is this very willingness to brave our bad opinion that makes his fiction so uncompromisingly alive.
If you come to Farther Away already disliking Franzen, the book will provide you with some compelling reasons to continue doing so. It even manages to be funny.
Franzen can only speak with authority from his own particular perch in life and his, like all of ours, is limited. The essays in Farther Away cover a lot of territory but nearly all of them circle back to this central point.
Coming from an author whose fame guarantees that he requires no introduction, let alone a Facebook page, this is a little hard to stomach. This sort of stark realism is not reserved solely for Wallace, but on display throughout the book.
Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen – review
He does this not because he enjoys dwelling in the dark, but because the dark is a necessary and rich component of the human experience, one that he believes is being forced more and more underground. If you are not convinced of his point of view by the more pedantic pieces in the book, you likely will be by the treatments of some of his favorite writers. It is, perhaps, not surprising that Franzen, himself, is at his most likeable when celebrating the remarkably flawed people he believes do this best.
Framed in phone booths, freeways and supermarkets, a Tsai Ming-liang film gazes with moist, unblinking eyes at everyday life—the slightest glint directing us towards the curiosities that line it.
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