Franzen on Literary Immersion

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18 August 2010

From this week’s TIME cover story on Jonathan Franzen:

“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.  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.”

Compelling words that remind me somehow of Franzen’s also-compelling 1996 Harper‘s essay — the piece of writing that  first introduced me to him, pre-Corrections.  Harper’s unfortunately doesn’t allow archival access to non-subscribers (this seems ridiculous to me, a hopeless holdout), but here’s the link in case you have a subscription.

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