Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jonathan Franzen and Peter Carey

Reading an article in New York Magazine about Jonathan Franzen and David Foster Wallace (http://nymag.com/print/?/arts/books/features/jeffrey-eugenides-2011-10/), I came across this mention of an encounter between Franzen and Peter Carey:

"He was sharing a stage with the Australian-born novelist Peter Carey, who had won the Booker Prize for Oscar and Lucinda. Franzen arrived in a college friend’s vintage Volvo in six-degree weather, with Wallace hitching a ride. “Carey arrived in a limousine from the Ritz.” The bookstore’s employees “had clearly never heard of me,” Franzen says. All of Carey’s books were on display, while a customer asking for Franzen’s previous novel was told to check the shelves under F."

Funny stuff!  It would be a different story now, of course, but it's still a wonderful scene to contemplate.

3 comments:

  1. Who is the Wallace-like character in Freedom mentioned in the article? Richard Katz?

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  2. Ah. It is Richard Katz. Notice the copy of Christina Stead above Jonathan Franzen's head in the photograph?

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  3. Oh, Richard is definitely based on Wallace, as is a comparable character in Eugenides MARRIAGE PLOT. Peter, did you see my Sep 2010 post on Freedo,, on my own "tropes of Tenth St" blog?

    Franzen's reading of Stead is a whole different kettle of fish I have not been antagonistic towards it as I have to think any publicity for Aus lit is good publicity, but I see her differently than Franzen does, though appreciating her nearly as much.

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