Jonathan Franzen and the Romance of Community Narratives of Salvation

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2017-02-09
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic

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Despite the success and significance of Jonathan Franzen's fiction, his work has received little scholarly attention. Aiming to fill this conspicuous gap, Jonathan Franzen and the Romance of Community analyzes each of Franzen's five novels in chronological order to reveal an interior logic animating his work.

Jesús Blanco Hidalga integrates often separated formal and ideological perspectives to illuminate Franzen's stylistic and narrative choices, and in so doing, he discovers the concepts, typical of romance narratives, of salvation and redemption running throughout Franzen's fiction. These salvation narratives are in turn used for self-legitimization-not only by the characters, by the writer himself. Hidalga further re-assesses Franzen's use of realism and explores each novel within its cultural and political context. Combining critical rigor with interpretative boldness, Hidalga offers a solid theoretical approach to a major contemporary author.

Author Biography

Jesús Blanco Hidalga is an independent scholar who collaborates with the Department of English of the University of Córdoba, Spain, as a member of the research group “Writs of Empire.”

Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations
1. Introduction: A formal and ideological approach to Jonathan Franzen's fiction
2. Knowable conspiracies: The Twenty-Seventh City
3. Strong Motion: Activism of the private sphere
4. The Corrections: A family romance for the global age
5. How to close a (meta)narrative: Freedom
6. Recapitulation: What's in an ending?
7. Epilogue: Purity and Hope
Works Cited

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