David Foster Wallace once said, "Fiction's about what it is to be a human being," a notion he followed so meticulously while accurately portraying the human condition, through endless dialogue and tangent stories, within the pages of Broom of the System. Twenty years later Jonathan Franzen did the very same within the pages of Freedom , but this time in using lyrical sentences and flushed out character depictions, sharing the journey of a modern family, with all their quirks, scars, and demons far and in between. David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen have been friends since the early onset of their careers. Pen palls for the duration, their letters have been published and studied by fans and literary aficionados. Post Broom of the System , Wallace wrote to Franzen from a halfway house in the early 90's describing what a toll his depression has taken on his writing, rendering him useless. He shares his pain honestly, "Right now, I am a pathetic and very confused young man, a failed writer at 28 who is so jealous, so sickly searingly envious of you
Review: Jonathan Franzen's 'Farther Away' wants to bridge distance
Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen – review | Jonathan Franzen | The Guardian
Published by Boston: Houghton Mifflin, Contact seller. Seller Rating:. Used - Softcover. Within U. A long-running and excellent series, under the general editorship of Robert Atwan, of books which are notable for the amount of good - and interesting -writing compressed into one volume.
Franzen, Wallace, Reading, and Isolation
You assume that what you see is what you get and believe that the artist, yourself, and everyone else should mimic the given. If you can doubt everything, why bother doing anything? And our most well-known and brilliant postmodernist would be David Foster Wallace himself, whose thousand-page "Infinite Jest" combines a multitude of styles, voices, and genres, many of which receive highly self-aware commentary in a lengthy section of footnotes. Wallace, though, was troubled by the postmodern techniques he so stunningly practiced, believing that they could result only in hollow metafiction, or fiction about fiction: I am writing a fiction; I am aware that I am writing a fiction; I am aware that I am aware that I am writing a fiction; and so on. Wallace wanted to transcend this kind of writing, ultimately narcissistic in its obsessive self-regard—like Hamlet overly ready, way, basically on cognitive crack—and likely to lead, as too much reflecting did for the Black Prince and the bandannaed Wallace , to paralyzing, suicide-inducing depression.
Surely it will be among the first critical works consulted by any scholar or student venturing into the work of Wallace and will interest the more ordinary, if unusually ambitious, reader as well. Considered by many to be the greatest writer of his generation, David Foster Wallace was at the height of his creative powers when he committed suicide in All of the essays, critical and creative alike, are written in an accessible style that does not presume any background in Wallace criticism.