What is jonathan franzens farther away essay about
Farther Away is a collection of 22 essays, reviews and speeches by the author of The Corrections and Freedom. Arranged in reverse chronology, it starts with his commencement speech to 's graduating class at Ohio's Kenyon College — an honour previously bestowed upon his friend David Foster Wallace, whose life, writing and suicide inform two of the best pieces on show. And it concludes in with an article on Paula Fox's novel Desperate Characters. There is also quite a lot about birds, slightly more about books, and plenty about Jonathan Franzen.
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I 'd heard that the title essay of Jonathan Franzen's new collection was about his punishing experiences on a rough and tiny island. Some of what happened there is by now well known. The inhabitants of this island welcomed him by printing the wrong version of his novel Freedom , necessitating the pulping of its entire first print run. Then at the party — marked, as a consequence of this error, by the absence of the book it was intended to launch — a gatecrasher plucked Franzen's glasses from his face , ran off into the night and demanded a ransom of several thousand pounds. He's blind as a mole without his specs, apparently; probably the result of having subjected his peepers to every page of William Gaddis's The Recognitions and about half of JR. When the plane lifted off from Heathrow, Franzen must have breathed a sigh of relief and said to himself that it would be a cold day in hell before he'd set foot on that cloud-dump again.
Farther Away is a collection of essays by the American writer Jonathan Franzen. In The New York Times Book Review , the essayist Phillip Lopate wrote the pieces "demonstrate [Franzen's] generosity, humanity and love of fiction, as well as his own preference for the morally complex over the sentimental. The struggle to be a good human being, against the pulls of solipsism and narcissism , can be glimpsed in every page of these essays, which if nothing else offer a telling battle report from within the consciousness of one of our major novelists. These essays are exemplary instances of reader-friendly criticism in that they can be studied profitably even by people unfamiliar with the works in question.