Reading Freedom, by Jonathan Franzen

After a long hiatus, I have finally decided to blog again (things get in the way), and have just finished the book Freedom by Jonathan Franzen.

I am very curious to see if anyone has any preliminary thoughts, did they like the book? Did they hate the book? Its weird, I thought the book was enjoyable, but there was no real substance to the book. The depth was missing, sacrificed for the language Franzen chooses to use.

To start my discussion I thought I’d just try and connect all the characters for you, it will probably look quite funny:

Joyce is Patty’s mom who is Walter’s wife and Joey/Jessica’s mom and they all live next door to Monaghan’s whose youngest daughter, Connie, is fucking Joey but he really wants to be fucking Jenna whose brother is Jonathan and father employs Joey which Walter doesn’t approve of and Jessica is jealous of who both work together with Richard, who has an affair with Patty and has been Walter’s best friend and hits on Lalitha who has an affair with Walter and dies in a car accident leaving everyone to mysteriously live happily ever after, besides Richard who dies alone.

 

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Poem of the Day – As One Listens To The Rain

Listen to me as one listens to the rain,
not attentive, not distracted,
light footsteps, thin drizzle,
water that is air, air that is time,
the day is still leaving,
the night has yet to arrive,
figurations of mist
at the turn of the corner,
figurations of time
at the bend in this pause,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
without listening, hear what I say
with eyes open inward, asleep
with all five senses awake,
it’s raining, light footsteps, a murmur of syllables,
air and water, words with no weight:
what we are and are,
the days and years, this moment,
weightless time and heavy sorrow,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
wet asphalt is shining,
steam rises and walks away,
night unfolds and looks at me,
you are you and your body of steam,
you and your face of night,
you and your hair, unhurried lightning,
you cross the street and enter my forehead,
footsteps of water across my eyes,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the asphalt’s shining, you cross the street,
it is the mist, wandering in the night,
it is the night, asleep in your bed,
it is the surge of waves in your breath,
your fingers of water dampen my forehead,
your fingers of flame burn my eyes,
your fingers of air open eyelids of time,
a spring of visions and resurrections,
listen to me as one listens to the rain,
the years go by, the moments return,
do you hear the footsteps in the next room?
not here, not there: you hear them
in another time that is now,
listen to the footsteps of time,
inventor of places with no weight, nowhere,
listen to the rain running over the terrace,
the night is now more night in the grove,
lightning has nestled among the leaves,
a restless garden adrift-go in,
your shadow covers this page.

–Octavio Paz

Quote of the Day – American Pastoral

You go to someone and you think, ‘I’ll tell him this.’ But why? The impulse is that the telling is going to relieve you. And that’s why you feel awful later–you’ve relieved yourself, and if it truly is tragic and awful, it’s not better, it’s worse—the exhibitionism inherent to a confession has only made the misery worse.

-Philip Roth, American Pastoral

Poem of the Day – Pull My Daisy

Pull my daisy
tip my cup
all my doors are open
Cut my thoughts
for coconuts
all my eggs are broken
Jack my Arden
gate my shades
woe my road is spoken
Silk my garden
rose my days
now my prayers awaken

Bone my shadow
dove my dream
start my halo bleeding
Milk my mind &
make me cream
drink me when you’re ready
Hop my heart on
harp my height
seraphs hold me steady
Hip my angel
hype my light
lay it on the needy

Heal the raindrop
sow the eye
bust my dust again
Woe the worm
work the wise
dig my spade the same
Stop the hoax
what’s the hex
where’s the wake
how’s the hicks
take my golden beam

Rob my locker
lick my rocks
leap my cock in school
Rack my lacks
lark my looks
jump right up my hole
Whore my door
beat my boor
eat my snake of fool
Craze my hair
bare my poor
asshole shorn of wool

say my oops
ope my shell
Bite my naked nut
Roll my bones
ring my bell
call my worm to sup
Pope my parts
pop my pot
raise my daisy up
Poke my papa
pit my plum
let my gap be shut

-Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg

Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac, Neal Casually