Omnivoracious Podcast: Jonathan Franzen on Freedom

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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 9, 2010 2:57:23 PM PST
I hated Freedom. So, I have been looking for and reading or listening to everything JF has to say. I saw him on Oprah, but didn't get much out of that interview. However, this interview shows me some insights as to how or why I might change my opinion of Freedom. It seems to me it's a collection of characters who mewl page after page about very little. I was interested to learn that JF thought his parents might read this book, although they are not habitual readers. I didn't find it "fun to read," but, if indeed, that is its purpose, well, that's better than trying to make big statements about freedom. Maybe I need to learn how to read JF as he suggests we learn how to read Virgnia Wolff or Emily Dickenson.

Posted on Dec 28, 2010 9:50:01 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 28, 2010 9:58:18 AM PST
Geeezz, not a single question or comment about the concept of "freedom"! Yeah, you talk about sports and competition okay so how does this relate to freedom as exercised in our society?
The characters are a product of a society which has lost its' concept of "responsibility" as the corollary to having the freedom Americans enjoy. Freedom exercised without a sense of responsibility results in dysfunction. Whether it be family dynamics, the waging of war or the destruction of our environment, Franzen would have us reflect and look in the mirror for answers. Great literature demands the reader to engage not just consume.

If as readers we engage we may achieve clarity and perhaps be changed.

David Okun

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 28, 2011 4:51:34 AM PST
I didn't hate Freedom, but was disappointed. I am now reading his Corrections, and am also disappointed. I enjoy his words, but fall asleep reading 600 pages that don't seem to move along or move me emotionally. His use of words and sentence structure is brilliant. His insight is brilliant. His ability to enhance all of that with page turning enthusiasm on our part leaves a lot to be desired.

In reply to an earlier post on May 6, 2011 4:56:19 PM PDT
I love Freedom. It's like ' Revolutionairy Road ' from Richard Yates. Or ' Solar' from Ian Mc Ewan. Those writers can write about themes like ' the American Dream' or ' Sustainability'. Please read Saturday from Ian Mc Ewan, it's a masterpiece.
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