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More Jonathan Franzen

October 4, 2005

Franzen’s got a lot to say.

On The New Yorker:
“It has been, and continues to be . . . the magazine for that one-half percent of American adults who believe that a national literary culture is an exciting thing to be a part of.”
——The Baltimore Sun

On Ulysses frequent placement on top-ten lists of the best books of the twentieth century:
“[That] sends this message to the common reader: Literature is horribly hard to read. And this message to the aspiring writer: Extreme difficulty is the way to earn respect. This is fucked up. It’s particularly fucked up when the printed word is fighting other media for its very life.”
——October’s Harper’s Magazine

On Oprah’s book club: “She’s picked some good books, but she’s picked enough schmaltzy, one dimensional ones that I cringe, myself, even though I think she’s really smart and she’s really fighting the good fight. And she’s an easy target.”

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