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. 

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