Tagged: Jonathan Franzen

You get what you give

One Direction is bigger than The Beatles.

Adele could put out her own charity record and raise more funds than the Geldof-inspired product.

Scientists aren’t known for their fashion sense, although this gent’s tats are worthy of a recurrent role on Girls.

Misery is a terrible state.


Franzen’s fifth novel, Purity – his first since 2010’s Freedom stormed the bestseller charts – will see the author telling the story of Purity Tyler.

Another quality paperweight from Mr Franzen. Presumably he’s showing, not telling, the story of Purity Tyler.

A cold, wet night in Stoke

Is Philip Roth worthy of a Nobel Prize? Probably not.

Franzen will never win a Nobel Prize.

There’s nothing pretentious about the aristocracy of culture.

The head of NASA says he’ll put a Brit on Mars. It should be David Bowie, obviously.

People want to know the whereabouts of Kim Jong-un. He’s in the studio, recording dubstep tracks.

Glamour profession

The novel and the piano remain literary and musical gateways to bourgeois culture, and will remain so as long as bourgeois culture is regnant (in olden days it was poetry and the piano). For the rest, there is HBO.

What once threatened the novel — on this side of the pond — were the likes of David Foster Wallace and Jonathan Franzen. However, one is no longer alive; the other’s over-inflated sense of aesthetic worth has burst against the sharp blade of Karl Kraus’ rhetoric.

“My Best Friend’s Wedding” is a terrifically cynical film; the interchange between Diaz and Roberts offers a critical theory of BFFs that rivals Adorno’s send up of astrology columns. It is the “Heathers” of the 1990s.