Said big-shot writer Jonathan Franzen, which led to the Twitter fad #JonathanFranzenhates:
According to tweeters' yakking, the novelist hates everything from "Emoticons, because it takes 600 pages to accurately convey emotion", to puppies, people who hate Jar Jar Binks, and cameras, because "real pictures should be painted".Hey, wait. Those tweeters are not yakking about themselves. Franzen threw in that extra concept: narcissism, self-obsesssion, inwardness. It wasn't just about how long or short writing good writing ought to be. It was also a moralistic judgment about what should absorb a decent person's attention. Ah! But Mr. Novelist, what about you? Could you yak about yourself long enough to tell the truth about whether your lengthy scribblings are about yourself?
I've only read one Jonathan Franzen book, "The Discomfort Zone," and it was all about him, him yakking about himself. That's why I read it. It's a memoir. He's more famous for novels, and I tend to read nonfiction, so I've read his memoir. But those novels... I'm guessing they involve all sorts of fictional characters who are more or less processed versions of himself. And they yak... for 600 pages.
Meanwhile, many tweeters look outward and are not self-absorbed at all.