Pater Edmund's Reviews > How to Be Alone

How to Be Alone by Jonathan Franzen
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Apr 23, 2012

bookshelves: for-my-dissertation, literature, postmodernism
Read from April 19 to 23, 2012

The first essay in here, "My Father's Brain," is to The Corrections what the bird-watching sections of Discomfort Zone are to Freedom. And just as Discomfort Zone darker than Freedom, so HTBA is darker than Corrections... But my favorite essay was "Imperial Bedroom" - on the destruction of public decency. There is a struggle going on in all these essays between Franzen's misanthropic side - his frank condemnation of the human race in general and in particular (including his own parents) - and his need for communion with others. The argument that emerges is that writing fiction is a way of finding a community of those that despise the false community of modern civilization; the readers and writers who "know how to be alone" and therefore aren't.
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04/20/2012 page 69
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