Sunday , March 7 2021

Overview: A new collection of essays by Jonathan Franzen

"End of the Earth: Essays" (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), Jonathan Franzen

One topic often arises in the latest collection of essays by Jonathan Franzena: how to live responsible, considering our all but a certain extinction as a species.

"Each of us is currently in the position of local Americans when Europeans arrived with weapons and a tank: our world is ready to change, unpredictable and mostly worse," he writes. "I do not expect that we can stop the change from the next. My only hope is that we can take a real time for human preparation."

If you delay Franzen's game or know him with one of the contradictions that have done him all, he is pressed Oprah! Dissed Edith Wharton! Do not worry about Audubon Society! – This book is a good place to get great novelists ("Corrections", "Freedom"), whose graceful, fine essays are a pleasure to read even when the theme is terrible.

The "end of the earth" combines 16 essays and speeches written over the last five years, although the publisher chose not to list the original publication date or media list. The party is about birds, bird watching and climate change, which he cares as deeply as literature and writing.

"If you could see all the birds in the world, you would see the whole world," he writes "Why the Birds Issue," a lyrical essay that convincingly claims that bird populations "point to our … ethical values ​​of health."

Others touching various subjects, including photography, technology and Manhattan, before gentrification. One fragment that was published in two days after September 11th shows the deadline for journalism, because, like almost everyone else in America, Franzen thought things would never be the same.

"Within two hours we left Game Boy's economy and trophy home a happy age," says Franzen. Well, not exactly. Trophy houses in 2018 are even bigger.

In the last essay, Franzen quietly offers a little advice to readers who, like him, are worried about finding a moral and ethical way of living in the late anthropocene.

Noting the tendency of a person to take a short view, he notes that every 30,000 paper glasses in America are thrown up every minute, even if the rain forests are leveled to deliver flesh to the world.

"Your life is already quite complicated already, without taking away the many-use cup with you all day," says Franzen. Of course, while reading this sentence, you know that this is exactly what you need to do.

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