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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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It was not as good as I remembered it being, but I thought, well maybe now m Here is a story about Jonathan Franzen: I read anything by Franzen which is better explained in a review for The Corrections and read this collection with excitement.

Having found a nice copy of Jonathan Franzen’s Farther Away on the library discard shelf, I can now add him to my list as well. I got it cause I heard about the essay on Munro and then just kept going and was surprised over how much more sympathetic Franzen is here then in what little I heard about him in media.

Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen

He earned that distinction by penning my second favorite book to date: So, in short, I didn’t feel that this book was up to par with his first essay collection, but it’s worth reading just the same.

However, my time with Jonathan Franzen’s “Farther Away” isn’t that easy to sum up. His bitterness over environmental issues, forgotten works of fiction, American politics because it’s just SO original to be bitter about thatsocial networks and faether phones, it all feels like someone checking things off of a old list of grievances rather then someone passionately engaging with any of them.

I need undermining, both as “artist” and half-baked man. At times, I felt like a crusty English teacher, urging her student to make me feel why saving endangered bird species or whatever other cause is meaningful.

This is a bit of a mixed bag, though I enjoyed it more than not. Read our comment standards StarTribune. I had listened to something like 9 of 10 discs of it and then had to return it to their library.

This sort of stark realism is not reserved solely for Wallace, but on display throughout the book. Whether he is writing about technologies’ assault on sincerity ftanzen analyzing Alice Munro’s short stories, what emerges are works of literary theory and cultural critique that are ambitious, brooding and charmingly funny. I am taking this book slowly, don’t want to lose the esse A collection of essays and speeches written in the last five years.

I used to feel bad for Franzen because he was forever going to be known as DFW’s less-talented friend farthe now I think I feel bad because he’s so obsessed with birds?? Jonathan Franzen is one of my favorite writers. The essays in Farther Away cover a lot of territory but nearly all of faryher circle back to this central point. This collection contains heartfelt essays, journalism, and speeches that argue that our smartphones reduce intimacy just as much as they increas In the years since he refused Oprah Winfrey’s invitation to go onto her show to discuss his novel The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen has developed though some might say “earned” or even “sought” a reputation as a crank, or a frnzen.


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There are some “filler” pieces here–a screed against the annoying use of “then” seems to be one–along with book reviews, commencement addresses, interviews with himself as the subjectand his remarks at the memorial service of his friend, David Foster Wallace. He writes, “When you consider the alternative — an anesthetized dream of self-sufficiency, abetted by technology — pain emerges as the natural product and natural indicator of being alive in a resistant world.

He’s proven me wrong on the bird-watching articles collected here, and even one that combines bird-watching with that most reprehensible of subjects, golf. While “Farther Away” provided some fleeting moments of great writing, I was still left wondering what Franzen hoped to get across in this collection.

Only kidding, obviously, but, reading this essay, I experienced a flicker of kinship with the moron who took Franzen’s specs hostage, a passing version of the permanent respect I feel for the philistines who attached hamburgers to little helicopters and sent them up to torment David Blaine while he was working his “hunger artist” hustle in the box over the Thames a few years back.

I probably will reread some of these essays again as well. I also did not know that he was good friends with David Foster Wallace. He also brilliantly describes why short stories — Munro’s bread and butter — shouldn’t be dismissed by the general reading public.

ESSAYS: “Farther Away,” by Jonathan Franzen

Love is the deus ex machina we should let into our lives. When he suggests that maybe if David Foster Wallace had gotten into birdwatching, he wouldn’t awaay committed suicide Franzen has strong opinions, and strong opinions alienate people. What colors this collection more than anything is his rage and sorrow over his dead friend, Fdanzen Foster Wallace.

Taken together, however, these writings present a broader, more freewheeling curiosity than the novelist generally indulges in his fiction. Commenters must follow our Terms of Use.

There are also some shorter pieces that seem to be memoir, and Interview with New York State that just seemed silly to me. These writers worry about contemporary letters in a way that I find congenial, bracing, and commonsensical.

Here, I will attempt a jocular, knowing tone, but the fact is, the humiliations, the disappointments, and the absolute thrill of being friends with a genius has probably affected me more than any other relationship in my life.

After struggling through Freedom I wondered what was wrong with me.

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 Franzen’s implicit promise to conceal nothing.


One way or another, the essays in Farther Away are attempts to enlarge the place where literature, and the responsiveness to it, can be preserved. Goodreads helps you keep track franzzen books you want to read. Like when he goes to China to investigate the factory where his puffin golf club cover is made, because he loves birds sooo much This page was last edited on 24 Februaryat What we get, instead, are characters keeping their heartless compulsions secret from those who love them; characters scheming to appear loving or to prove to themselves that what feels like love is really just disguised self-interest; or, at most, characters directing and abstract or spiritual love toward somebody profoundly repellent – the cranial-fluid-dripping wife in Infinite Jest, rranzen psychopath in the last of the interviews with hideous men.

Fr This latest collection of essays by Jonathan Franzen is necessarily uneven. He is concerned about technology, social media in particular, annoyed really, and I am too. As a result, the contents are arranged in reverse chronological order so that we end up where this phase could farthet said to have begun, with the piece on Fox’s Desperate Characters.

Trivial, perhaps just another big dick graffiti moment, but thanks to what might be called his highly developed emotional intelligence, my friend was able to say the most devastating things, knowing just exactly where all the joints in somebody’s armor might be.

There’s two more lengthy essays about birds one from a trip to the Mediterranean, where songbirds and other endangered migratory fowl are decimated by a culture of hunting and haute cuisineanother to Shanghai, China, where birds are eradicated mostly by the destruction of their habitat. I particularly enjoyed Franzen’s rants on literary interviews, then grammar read it to get the in joke.

Wallace, like my genius friend, had no use for such things, for knickknacks and photo collections and gluing stamps into albums. I want to take time to really digest what Franzen is saying.

It’ also a good read to pass the time while waiting for his next novel. Two Minnesota kids will bake on Food Network competition. 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. May 28, Terry Heller rated it really liked it.