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Jonathan Franzen: The novel remains important

27th September 2010

The novel has a unique ability to allow readers to engage with the world around them, bestselling writer Jonathan Franzen has claimed.

In an interview with the Metro, The Corrections author reaffirmed his support for the novel, asserting that the form is an important defence against the distracting effects of new technology and the growing virtual environment.

'The novel is one of the few opportunities people have left to sit in a complete world with completed thoughts for 15, 20, 25 hours,' he explained.

However, Franzen admitted he has 'given up' on the idea that the novel can lead to any 'audible social benefit' but said literary works can still be important for readers on a personal level.

The author, who recently published new work Freedom to rave reviews in both the US and the UK, also told the newspaper that novels should attempt to deal with the big issues in life, such as the free market and political agendas.

Last month, a review of Freedom in the Guardian said that the book should silence those critics who believe the novel is effectively dead as an art form.
 

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