Jonathan Franzen

Recent

What I Recalled Watching Netflix

[Television is educational.]   One Saying the same stuff over and over looks like you have different things to say. Two If you’re ever in a below-average film or streaming series, and you beat the tar out of a guy, in a house, and you gaze down in both some shock as also a certain

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Seeking the King

A line everywhere misattributed to Chesterton reads thus: The young man who rings the bell at the brothel is unconsciously looking for God. This line is not from the great [several senses of the word] man who recently celebrated his 150th birthday, but the mid-century most unmodern novelist Bruce Marshall. The words — which do

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He’s the Guy

Those social media posts of ‘this moment in this famous film was totally unscripted!!!’ as if that by itself makes it better miss the point. Moat unscripted material, like most ideas, inventions, ideas, notions, &c … fails — such is the nature of creativity: the best stuff, it is devoutly to be wished, sticks around;

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‘Round Here

Imagine someone, potentially anyone, even you, perhaps, but let us, in any case, say. Yes, you. You pull into the diner – Earl’s, Norm’s, Dinah’s, something like that. A sort-of Googie architecture … but maybe not quite, as if it’d been a little late for the Space Age, and late is the one thing you

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Random

It’s Not Gonna Be Me

First thing I noticed anew this year watching It’s a Wonderful Life was how happy George Bailey was to be going to jail. He celebrates it, as he bursts through his front door to be greeted by a bank examiner, a journalist, and the sheriff. If those three “walked into a bar” it might not be

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The End In Mind

Sometimes we imagine ourselves the star of our own personal blockbuster biopic, currently in production (it’s sometimes in development hell, but generally moving forward) and it’s all vital and crucial, Academy Award-material, two thumbs way up. God is teaching us all this stuff, we think, even if don’t presently know what it is. And if

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Whee

Each animal has its glory. The dog his ears, the rabbit her tail, the dolphin their leaps. Elephant trunk Moose antlers Giraffe … duh Walrus tusks Whale tails Wolf howl Bear claw Bird caw + [We’d first say flight of course but see, think, feel they all fly and largely the same — tho the

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Shock and Appall

Our system is perfectly designed for the results we’re getting. We worship wealth and crave power. We have a job called “celebrity” and wink at vulgarity and reward villainy. We admire brashness. We randomly excuse or excoriate peccadilloes: depends on the news cycle, the fame or infamy possible, and the money and status of those involved.

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