Nothing Is Invisible

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Posts Tagged ‘Freedom’

The Discomfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen

Posted by the editors on Tuesday, 26 April 2011


The Discomfort Zone, by Jonathan Franzen

image: Wikipedia

The Discomfort Zone (2006) (Memoir) by Jonathan Franzen (The Corrections (2001), How to Be Alone (2002), Freedom (2010))  A wonderful book, thoughtful, perceptive and funny, looking at the individual and American society in the 1960s and 1970s.  Interested in bird-watching?? (PR)

In February 2010, Franzen (along with writers including Richard Ford, Zadie Smith (see our previous posts on Zadie Smith, here) and Anne Enright) was asked by The Guardian to contribute what he believed were ten serious rules to abide by for aspiring writers.  Franzen’s rules ran as follows:

  1. The reader is a friend, not an adversary, not a spectator.
  2. Fiction that isn’t an author’s personal adventure into the frightening or the unknown isn’t worth writing for anything but money.
  3. Never use the word “then” as a ­conjunction– we have “and” for this purpose. Substituting “then” is the lazy or tone-deaf writer’s non-solution to the problem of too many “ands” on the page.
  4. Write in the third person unless a ­really distinctive first-person voice ­offers itself irresistibly.
  5. When information becomes free and universally accessible, voluminous research for a novel is devalued along with it.
  6. The most purely autobiographical ­fiction requires pure invention. Nobody ever wrote a more auto­biographical story than “The Metamorphosis“.
  7. You see more sitting still than chasing after.
  8. It’s doubtful that anyone with an internet connection at his workplace is writing good fiction (the TIME magazine cover story detailed how Franzen physically disables the Net portal on his writing laptop).
  9. Interesting verbs are seldom very interesting.
  10. You have to love before you can be relentless.

Note:  Today, 26 April 2011, is the 226th anniversary of the birth of John James Audubon.  Here’s a link to the Wikipedia entry for the Audubon Society, a non-profit organisation created in 1905 whose purpose and focus is the conservation of birds, other wildlife and healthy ecosystems.


 Plate 41 of Birds of America by John James Audubon depicting Ruffed Grouse





We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library.

image: Wikipedia

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Posted in Art, Book Reviews, culture, Environment, General, Links, Literature, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible, painting | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »


Posted by the editors on Monday, 31 January 2011


Freedom, (novel), 2010, by Jonathan Franzen.  A careful, well-written look at the public and private lives, much conflicted, of a middle-class, liberal, mid-western American family.  The New York Times called it a “masterpiece” and I’ve heard it called a page turner AND a work of art. .So, there you have it. Go read it; it’s as simple as that. By the author of the excellent The Corrections. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your books.  Have a wonderful personal library..

top image: Wikipedia

Posted in Book Reviews, Books, Language, Nothing Is Invisible, nothingisinvisible | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Truly Enormous Chinese Censorship Machine

Posted by the editors on Saturday, 10 April 2010

Shiho Fukada for The New York Times

An Internet cafe in Beijing. Some Internet cafes and schools use filtering software, and a version for cellphones is in development.

Michael Wines, Sharon Lafraniere and Jonathan Ansfield have written an important, informative, and rather comprehensive article entitled “China’s Censors Tackle and Trip Over the Internet” in the Asia Pacific section of The New York Times (online) which examines the various components of the Chinese censorship machine, the tactics it employs and the consequences, in and for China, and elsewhere in the world.  If you’ve even a marginal interest in freedom and liberty read on…
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