Wednesday, August 31, 2016

A Better Editor

I am in the midst of reading Jonathan Franzen's latest novel Purity.  My friend Phyllis selected it for me when I told her I was looking for a good plot.  I admire these writers who give us big stories full of characters living contemporary lives.

So yes, there's a lot to dive into here.  Especially because Franzen let's us know what everyone is thinking while the characters struggle to be understood.  So then, I was wondering:  why do I feel engrossed and tired at the same time?   Does Franzen need a better editor?

Or is it simply that omniscience is exhausting.  And that's why nature provides us with our own
sanity-saving inner editor.  "Real life" doesn't allow us the same rights of invasion that we look to the novelist to provide.


  1. How many pages does it take for anything substantive to happen? Our own thoughts are experienced much faster than we can read others'; I can have complex thoughts about a variety of topics and experience waves of emotions, all while making an omelet. Takes a writer several (many) pages to get that all down...Have you tried "Swann's Way"?

    1. No editor could handle all of our thoughts, that's for sure.

  2. Just finished Before The Fall by Noah Hawley. Great fun and great contemporary read.
    Re: Swann's Way. Proust is soooo good, I can never put him down!
    Loved Swann's Way.