It’s harder than it seems

over the weekend I finished reading Jonathan Franzen’s “How to Be Alone;” a collection of essays spanning, roughly the mid90s to late 2001. Franzen is a writer I’ve ben curious about for awhile, always seeing “The Corrections” on the shelf at Borders and getting the impression that he is a current writer that should be read. But that is a perception that is pushed onto nearly any major literature writer and I’ve come to take praise on bookjackets with a health dose of salt. But after reading “How to Be Alone” I am sure of two things. The first is that I will be reading “The Corrections.” The second is that I want to give the whole essay writing thing a shot.

so I’ve started trying to piece together a little essay about recent trips home and the feelings it entails since moving to cleveland coupled with recent deaths in the family. And this is where Franzen proves how truly skilled he is at writing the essays from “How to be Alone.” Attempting to write an essay myself is far more difficult than how Franzen makes it appear.

On the one hand, it’s pretty solid praise for Franzen. He wrote a collection of essays that are entirely enjoyable to read and made it look insanely easy to do in the process. On the other hand, I’m having a difficult time structuring and saying what I want to structure and say.

I’m also hoping to punch up some reviews in the next couple of days, so I’ll try to keep the updates flowing.


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