Mad Literary Name Dropping Takes Place in the Times Review of Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom

I think they liked it?

  • “19th-century realist”
  • “even as he condescendingly attributed to them every venal quality from hypocrisy and vanity to paranoia and Machiavellian conniving.”
  • “not Nietzschean stereotypes easily divided into categories of “hard” (shameless, ambitious brutes) or “soft” (pathetic, sniveling doormats)”
  • “But it is neither this heavy-handed leitmotif nor the twisty, Dickensian plot”
  • “threatening to turn them into authorial pawns subject to simple Freudian-Darwinian imperatives.”