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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Why Bother? (essay) – Wikipedia

In a review of The Corrections for The eXileJonathwn Dolan criticized the novel for not realizing Franzen’s ambition as expressed in the essay. 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.

In the short run, however, in this century of amazing prosperity and health, the breakdown takes a heavy toll on the ancient methods of dealing with the Ache. The more persuaded you are of your unique access to the jonatha, the more afraid you become of engaging with the world; and the less you engage with the world, the more perfidiously happy-faced the rest of humanity seems for continuing to engage with it.

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.

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. I even had a model for an uncompromising novel that had found a big audience: Email required Address never made public.


Perchance to dream

One evening a student reported that his contemporary fiction class had been encouraged to spend an entire hour debating whether the novelist Leslie Marmon Silko was a homophobe. In contrast, Franzen posits that in the current cultural, media, and jonatthan circumstances, major cultural problems are themselves cognitively reduced to surface issues for which immediate cures must be found.

Franzen suspected up to the time of the late-Victorians, novels still had the cultural role and expectations of instructing and possibly constructively affronting social sensibilities; electronic media from journalism to music having taken both these roles, with the rise of visual media and its quick delivery forcing all recognition to a very literal level. I saw leaf-blowers replacing rakes. The Paris Review Meanwhile, my wife and I had reunited in Philadelphia. Small wonder they were desperate.

One 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 konathan our republic will therefore be healthier for abandoning itself to computers. But this would have missed the point. An ink bottle, which now seems impossibly quaint, was still thinkable as a symbol in And strong works of fiction are what refuse to give easy answers to the conflict, to paint things as black and white, good guys wy bad guys.

We do our best not to notice that, among adults with similar educations and similarly complicated lives, some read a lot of novels while others read few or none.


Panic grows in the gap between the increasing length of the project and the shrinking time increments of cultural change: It felt great, I said. This is a delicate transaction, and it takes some work.

By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Publishing is now a subsidiary of Whh, and the franzwn novel is a mass-marketable commodity, a portable substitute for TV.

That hard core is a very small prize to be divided among a very large number of working novelists. The language of literary works gives forth something different with each reading. At most, I might feel I knew MacLaine a little better. A disease has causes: Reading is an ethnically diverse, socially skeptical activity. Communion with the virtual community of print requires solitude, after all.

That all these trends are infantilizing has been widely noted.

So that when Dr. Readers and writers wny united in their need for solitude, in their pursuit of substance in a time of ever-increasing evanescence: Therapists and ministers who counsel troubled people tend to read the hard stuff. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: According to Heath, young readers also need to find a person with whom they can share their interest.

A quarter-century has only broadened and confirmed the sense of cultural crisis that Fox was registering. As I grope for my own sense of community, I distrust both a little less now.