Jonathan Franzen Quotes

Quotes tagged as "jonathan-franzen" (showing 1-8 of 8)
Frank Wedekind
“The fog is clearing; life is a matter of taste.”
Frank Wedekind, Spring's Awakening

Lev Grossman
“There are any number of reasons to want novels to survive. The way [Jonathan] Franzen thinks about it is that books can do things, socially useful things, that other media can't. He cites -- as one does -- the philosopher Soren Kierkegaard and his idea of busyness: that state of constant distraction that allows people to avoid difficult realities and maintain self-deceptions. With the help of cell phones, e-mail and handheld games, it's easier to stay busy, in the Kierkegaardian sense, than it's ever been.

Reading, in its quietness and sustained concentration, is the opposite of busyness. "We are so distracted by and engulfed by the technologies we've created, and by the constant barrage of so-called information that comes our way, that more than ever to immerse yourself in an involving book seems socially useful," Franzen says. "The place of stillness that you have to go to to write, but also to read seriously, is the point where you can actually make responsible decisions, where you can actually engage productively with an otherwise scary and unmanageable world.”
Lev Grossman

Jonathan Franzen
“The problem with making a virtual world of oneself is akin to the problem with projecting ourselves onto a cyberworld: there’s no end of virtual spaces in which to seek stimulation, but their very endlessness, the perpetual stimulation without satisfaction, becomes imprisoning.”
Jonathan Franzen, Farther Away

D.T. Max
“He [Wallace] sent a quick note to his friend [Franzen] explaining his behavior. "the bold fact is that I'm a little afraid of you right now,"[...] "all I can tell you is that I may have been that [a worthy opponent] for you a couple/ three years ago, and maybe 16 months or tow or 5 or 10 years hence, but right now I am a pathetic and very confused man, a failed writer at 28, who is so jealous, so sickly searing envious of you and Vollmann and Mark Leyner and even David Fuckward Leavitt and any young man who is right now producing pages with which he can live and even approving them off some base-clause of conviction about the entrprise's meaning and end that I consider suicide a reasonable- if not at this point a desirable- option with respect to the whole wretched problem.”
D.T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Don DeLillo
“The novel is whatever novelists are doing at a given time. If we‘re not doing the big social novel fifteen years from now, it‘ll probably mean our sensibilities have changed in ways that make such work less compelling to us — we won‘t stop because the market dried up. The writer leads, he doesn‘t follow. The dynamic lives in the writer‘s mind, not in the size of the audience. And if the social novel lives, but only barely, surviving in the cracks and ruts of the culture, maybe it will be taken more seriously, as an endangered spectacle. A reduced context but a more intense one [...]

PS [...] If serious reading dwindles to near nothingness, it will probably mean that the thing we‘re talking about when we use the word ‘identity‘ has reached an end.
– Don Delillo, in a letter to Jonathan Franzen”
Don DeLillo

D.T. Max
“A publisher sent him a galley of a novel by a writer he had barely heard of, one that impressed him deeply and seemed to embody all the literary qualities he had called for in his "fictional Futures" essay. The book was Franzen's The Twenty-Seventh City. Set in St. Louis, it mixed postmodernism and traditional storytelling and showed a familiarity its chosen city that Wallace could only marvel it. it decanted a Pynchonesque conspiracy in media-mediated language; it was about word AND the world, realism for an era when there was no real.”
D.T. Max, Every Love Story Is a Ghost Story: A Life of David Foster Wallace

Jonathan Franzen
“Con questo non voglio dire che il depresso e insicuro Charlie Brown, l’egoista e sadica Lucy, l’eccentrico filosofo Linus e l’ossessivo Schroeder (che soddisfa le sue ambizioni beethoveniane con un pianoforte giocattolo e una sola ottava) non siano tutti avatar di Schultz. Ma il suo vero alter ego è chiaramente Snoopy: l’imbroglione proteiforme che fonda la propria libertà sulla certezza di essere in fondo adorabile, il trasformista che, per puro divertimento, può diventare un elicottero, un giocatore di hokey o il Grande Brachetto, e poi di nuovo, in un lampo, prima che il suo virtuosismo possa annoiarvi o sminuirvi, tornare a essere il cagnolino vivace che aspetta solo la cena.”
Jonathan Franzen

Jonathan Franzen
“When I'm writing I don't want anyone else in the room - including myself.”
Jonathan Franzen