Friday, August 27, 2010

Countdown to Freedom

Hello, gentle reader. I've been gone for a while, haven't I? Well, don't worry your pretty, little head. I'm here with a second post, as a part of the Two Posts in One Day Challenge/Challange.

During the 6 or 7 hour window of my time spent away from HaPomo, I got to think about a lot of things. I thought about what a sense of accomplishment completing the rabies post-exposure prophylaxis instills in one's heart. I thought about what footwear is the sturdiest but also the most comfortable. I thought about the impending death of the literary novel (300 years on its deathbed and still ticking!), I thought about why anyone would ever want to make a career of production management, and I even thought about Ted Dansen. But the one thought that really penetrated the old grey matter, gentle reader, was this: Jonathan Franzen's "Freedom" will come out in exactly four days.

4 DAYS. Barack Obama has already been spotted with an advance copy. Unfair. Where did he get it?! Just because he's POTUS, doesn't mean - well, I guess it does.

Since I'm a regular Franzen Fanatic (FF), I thought I'd make a little list of reasons why Everyone Should Love Franzen. (It's like Everyone Loves Raymond, except the love is mandatory!)

1. Jonathan Franzen is extremely happy. Look how much fun he's having in this picture below! Whereas most novelists would see the book jacket photo as an opportunity to make the pouty face they spent years perfecting in mirrors at their respective Small Liberal Arts Colleges, Franzen's just smiling. He's thrilled to be on the jacket of his own book!

2. Jonathan Franzen is fluent in German. He translated Spring Awakening. And then he found fault with the butchering of the play on Broadway. And he was right to - it was a shoddy production. And people were like, "What's your problem, finding fault with this play?" And he was like, "Yo, I'm Jonathan Franzen." And that shut them up.

3. Jonathan Franzen Just Said No to Oprah.

4. Jonathan Franzen won the National Book Award even though he said no to Oprah. Take that, Oprah! Your well-oiled literary machine is fast corroding!

5. Jonathan Franzen wears glasses just like mine. Look at that fucking eyewear coincidence.

6. Jonathan Franzen likes birdwatching.

7. All of Jonathan Franzen's family except Jonathan Franzen were born in Minnesota.

8. Jonathan Franzen was on the cover of TIME, and he looked FAR LESS confused than Nabokov did on his TIME cover. Why so crazy, Uncle Vlad?

9. Jonathan Franzen can fly.

10. Jonathan Franzen can't actually fly, but sometimes it feels like it.

Whether he's grinning or writing from the POV of a frustrated suburban mother, this literary hero is a friend of the downtrodden (the late DFW) and an enemy of the uptrodden (Broadway). He's like a contemporary Robin Hood who writes domestic realism and lives in New York City sometimes.

Just like Robin Hood.


  1. Hell yeah, he can fly. Flying is essential if you want to defeat Oprah.

  2. Well, it's either that or invisibility, and I don't think he's gonna achieve the latter any time soon.