Frazzled Franzen

HBO has refused to go ahead with the adaptation of Jonathan Franzen‘s The Corrections. People are saying it’s because the novel is too bookish for TV. I can imagine that Franzen isn’t finding this funny. But his haters must be tickled by this bit of disappointment for an author who has lately been touted as a sexist dinosaur. He famously implied that his novels were too good for Oprah, soccer moms, and women in general. Recently, he wrote an essay in the New Yorker, dissing American novelist, Edith Wharton, making such a big deal of the fact that Wharton was not physically attractive. Of course, literary feminists were on hand to give Franzen a good scolding.  His love for controversy knows no bounds. The other day, he came out and said,”Twitter is unspeakably irritating. Twitter stands for everything I oppose.” His main issue is that 140 characters are just not enough. (Read the rest of the comment HERE.) Trust the junta of social media enthusiasts to pounce on him. Oh by the way, Franzen is not as cute as the photo would like you to think. They got his good angle.

On the twitter thing, I think social media militants need to chill. What’s there to freak out about? If it were possible to write a novel in 140 characters, twitting would be much less irritating to Franzen. Sue him for that. In my view, Franzen is making two very simple and non-threatening points: 1. I’m not keen on tweeting. 2. Not everything is tweetable e. g. a footnote within a footnote.


Image via

Tags: , , , , ,

I'm finishing up a phd at Duke University where I study African novels, which I believe are some of the loveliest things ever written. Brittle Paper is the virtual space/station where I play and experiment with ideas on how to reinvent African fiction and literary culture.


  1. Sad and Female? Eat or Go to Pinterest | Brittle Paper - 2012/06/13

    […] form of media? Novels too have recently been the object of a a similar anxiety. American novelist, Jonathan Franzen, and other male authors have said that they are concerned that men don’t read novels anymore […]

Leave a Reply

Titilope Sonuga Thrills Lagos Fans to a Night of Poetry and Music


We are feeling so inspired by Titilope Sonuga. She truly brings the classy back to poetry. On the 6th of […]

Binyavanga Wainaina Has Suffered a Stroke and Needs Our Help


In a previous post announcing the #naija4binyavanga fundraising event in Lagos, I noted that I didn’t know enough about Wainaina […]

Here is How to Support the #WeStandWithBinyavanga Fundraising


I’m not privy to all the details about Binyavanga Wainaina’s illness. So I’ve cut and pasted Lola Shoneyin’s Facebook post […]

Wall Street Journal Unveils the Face Behind Africa’s Most Anticipated Novel


Imbolo Mbue burst into the limelight late last year after signing a million dollar deal with Random House for her […]

Chibundu Onuzo’s Childhood is, Of Course, a Booklover’s Dream


The super-adorable little girl in this photograph is the Nigerian author Chibundu Onuzo. The Guardian posted the photo a while […]

Hitmaid | by Nicholas Rawhani | An African Story


After Robot. The Houghton streets are a peculiar place in the morning. Taxi-loads of pastel dressed women walk into houses […]