Tuesday, 19 February 2013

The Franzen Get-Out

The Franzen Get-Out (also known as The Franzen Excuse): The excuse white, overprivileged male authors use when challenged about their tedious, overprivileged novels about tedious, overprivileged white people living tedious, overprivileged white lives*. Though the novels may present characters with unhealthy levels of narcissism, self-obsession, and limited awareness of their own status and privilege, the author of the work, rather than accepting this as valid criticism, may employ The Franzen Get-Out: "This work and these characters are a comment on the nature of our American culture of self-obsession and entitlement."

See also: Lack of willingness to do the kind of low-status work that will enable you to write anything outside of the sphere of your own limited experience; 

Also: Not knowing anybody who isn't similarly privileged as yourself, and being unwilling to have the kinds of experiences that would bring you into contact with people hailing from a wide range of social backgrounds;

Also: Not wanting to have anything to do with poor or dirty people.

Currently reading

The Witness Juan Jose Saer
Reasons to Live Amy Hempel

*In the near future, I plan to write a post about writing convincing female perspectives and female characters. For now, I haven't got time to do it, so you'll have to be content with me spitting tacks about Franzen. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Bad Language

Last week, my Fictions co-compadres Mason Henry Summers and Ian Pepper and I went on a little outing to Manchester to go to a night called Bad Language. Run by a group of writers, Bad Language is a monthly writers' open mic night that goes on in the back room of a pub called The Castle.

I went, and read the opening of a short story I've been working on called "Control". Mason tried to take a video but it came out a bit Wrong. Instead, I made the resulting audio file into an MP3, which you can listen to on my Soundcloud.

Currently reading

The Marriage Plot Jeffrey Eugenides
The Witness Juan Jose Saer
The Illustrated Man Ray Bradbury