Text Patterns - by Alan Jacobs

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Feeney on the Jest

Over at The American Scene, my blog-colleague Matt Feeney makes a case for Infinite Jest not unlike the one made in the comments on an earlier post here. Read and digest.

2 comments:

  • Rick J. Penner said...

    Your article on Jonathan Franzen for The American Scene was not open for comments so I'm hitting you up here: you seem to be saying that in the new contemporary fiction there's a question about the "suitability" of "ordinary people" as subjects for a novel.

    Quite different from the "old" writers like Dostoyevsky, Dickens, Flaubert, and so on -- who somehow were able to take plain 'ole folks and make them fascinating.

    Why are recent writers so different on this?

  • I'm not sure how "ordinary" those characters in 19th century fiction were. They were economically and socially ordinary, but they had powerful and distinctive personalities. Not so the Berglunds.

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