Jonathan franzen david foster wallace
Farther Away by Jonathan FranzenJonathan Franzens Freedom was the runaway most-discussed novel of 2010, an ambitious and searching engagement with life in America in the twenty-first century. In The New York Times Book Review, Sam Tanenhaus proclaimed it a masterpiece of American fiction and lauded its illumination, through the steady radiance of its authors profound moral intelligence, [of] the world we thought we knew.
In Farther Away, which gathers together essays and speeches written mostly in the past five years, Franzen returns with renewed vigor to the themes, both human and literary, that have long preoccupied him. Whether recounting his violent encounter with bird poachers in Cyprus, examining his mixed feelings about the suicide of his friend and rival David Foster Wallace, or offering a moving and witty take on the ways that technology has changed how people express their love, these pieces deliver on Franzens implicit promise to conceal nothing. On a trip to China to see first-hand the environmental devastation there, he doesnt omit mention of his excitement and awe at the pace of Chinas economic development; the trip becomes a journey out of his own prejudice and moral condemnation. Taken together, these essays trace the progress of unique and mature mind wrestling with itself, with literature, and with some of the most important issues of our day. Farther Away is remarkable, provocative, and necessary.
David Foster Wallace unedited interview (2003)
‘It began when Wallace wrote Franzen a fan letter in the summer of 1988’
English needs a word for the loneliness you feel when no one else hears what sounds to you like the loudest noise in the room. The high voice went on; its quaver was doubtless for conscious ears only, but there were verily thirty seconds when it sounded, for [Maggie], like the shriek of a soul in pain. Not one of them mentions it. What is going on? If no one else hears it, is a sound really there?
Purity and The End of the Tour point toward an imbalanced relationship between two of our generation's greatest male novelists. It was the writer's second time on the program in less than a year: He'd reluctantly agreed to be part of a fiction roundtable the previous May with the authors Jonathan Franzen and Mark Leyner. Franzen, a close friend to Wallace, had convinced him that appearing on TV was a necessary step in promoting his work. Wallace, in turn, expressed anxiety about "staying on my side of the screen. Now, alone with Charlie Rose, it was clear what he meant. Wallace spent a significant portion of his nationally televised interview obsessing over the very concept of being interviewed. The irony he grappled with — of espousing a worldview critical of television in front of millions of viewers — seemed inescapable, all-consuming.
Wallace never wrote another novel after Infinite Jest —merely several collections of short stories and journalism, and a gathering of fragments published posthumously, earlier this year, as The Pale King —and he hanged himself in the backyard of his California home in September of Be the heroic, dies-young genius? Wallace was no saint, Franzen literally says. An unreliable friend, he could be competitive and mean—Franzen relates a story where Wallace said something very mean to a girlfriend, and another where he traced the outline of an erection on the title page of one of his books, which Franzen had brought to him to sign. Moreover, Wallace was frequently self-involved, and unable to draw joy from the world around him.
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Sasha Chapin is a writer living in Los Angeles, where he works hard at maintaining a year Famous dead writer David Foster Wallace made many writers unhappy. The unhappiness, of course, was a feeling of inferiority. Anecdotal evidence of this includes many hours of my sadness. I am not alone in this neurosis. Wallace was blatantly virtuosic—not a subtle writer. His work was maximal.