**Live Jonathan Franzen Twitter Hate Stream**
Reading books by Jonathan Franzen has been replaced by reading love/hate pieces about Jonathan Franzen.
For reasons beyond my normal brain, he has become a lightning rod so to speak of all everything that is right and wrong about literature RIGHT NOW, partially fueled by jealously, I guess, partially fueled by his privileges, partially fueled by his own grandiose attempts to encompass large societal problems into something like a “great american novel.” (((WHY IS THAT A TERM ANYWAY???))).
But why as a person that reads books I feel that I need an opinion on this person? On his writing?
In his newest novel, he focuses on a young person named Purity (Pip) who is only 23 or so (((YOU HAVEN’T READ THE BOOK HAVE YOU?))). It’s odd for him to pick a character like that, because Franzen has been pretty open about his disdain for Twitter and seems to be technological luddite. I mean, this is a purported professional video about how he hates videos about novels.
And in an informal Facebook poll among some “youngish” people in a literature/writing group I’m in, only 9 out of 45 expressed interest in reading one of the most “hyped” books of the fall.
That’s not really surprising to me, but it is dissonant for Franzen to write about the people who don’t care about him, I think. Or you would at least hope that because he is writing about a young person that young people would be interested. But that’s not the case.
I think I feel the need to have an opinion on this person, because people in NYC are saying that I do. It’s what a large part of the NPR-set is pushing, because they want to have some hope that an author can still broadly matter. And why not this person? He rejected Oprah once upon a time to only come back again. He was friends with David Foster Wallace. He hates Twitter. He’s a well-connected contrarian, which makes it easy to not like him.