Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

Farther Away
by Jonathan Franzen
June 1, 2017 - June 2, 2017

Done


9780374153571

Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012. 321 pages. Unverified

10 20
21

p.307
anomie »
lack of the usual social or ethical standards i...
p.266
Gemütlichkeit »
comfort, coziness (like the Danish _hygge_)
p.199
montane »
(adjective) of, relating to, growing in, or bei...
p.175
divot »
(noun) a square of turf or sod
p.88
inveigh »
(verb) to protest or complain bitterly or vehem...
p.321
the point of meaning in a rabid modern world
_Desperate Characters_ is a novel in revolt aga...
p.296
can a better kind of fiction save the world?
Can a better kind of fiction save the world? Th...
p.288
recent "exciting fiction"
[...] a high percentage of the most exciting fi...
p.282
the impossibility of pressing the Pleasure bar ...
[...] For Dostoevsky--as for such latter-day li...
p.215
pretty much my only defense against the world
[...] I was devoting a lot of energy to the mor...

3

Pain Won't Kill You
commencement address, Kenyon College, May 2011

a bit about his marriage, and how he fell in love with birds, and how putting yourself in potential danger is the only way to live and love?

1 / 3
3

Pain Won't Kill You
commencement address, Kenyon College, May 2011

a bit about his marriage, and how he fell in love with birds, and how putting yourself in potential danger is the only way to live and love?

1 / 3
15

Farther Away

he visits Masafuera (off the coast of Chile) to: take a break from novel promotion; mourn DFW while scattering his ashes; and do some birding. also talks about Robinson Crusoe being commonly thought of as the first English novel (he disputes that claim tho). the stuff on DFW makes the whole thing worth it even if I don't care about Robinson Crusoe or birds

4 / 6
15

Farther Away

he visits Masafuera (off the coast of Chile) to: take a break from novel promotion; mourn DFW while scattering his ashes; and do some birding. also talks about Robinson Crusoe being commonly thought of as the first English novel (he disputes that claim tho). the stuff on DFW makes the whole thing worth it even if I don't care about Robinson Crusoe or birds

4 / 6
53

The Greatest Family Ever Stored
on Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children

she was an Australian writer who left her home at 25 (in 1928) and traveled a lot. this book is about a family whose patriarch is dominating and oppressive af. I guess Franzen really liked this book

0 / 0
53

The Greatest Family Ever Stored
on Christina Stead's The Man Who Loved Children

she was an Australian writer who left her home at 25 (in 1928) and traveled a lot. this book is about a family whose patriarch is dominating and oppressive af. I guess Franzen really liked this book

0 / 0
67

Hornets

about his house-sitting history: in one, he got cucked by the son of a friend who said "This is my house, Jonathan"; delayed mowing the lawn until hornets started nesting and he almost blew himself up trying to get rid of them. now he lives within his means.

0 / 0
67

Hornets

about his house-sitting history: in one, he got cucked by the son of a friend who said "This is my house, Jonathan"; delayed mowing the lawn until hornets started nesting and he almost blew himself up trying to get rid of them. now he lives within his means.

0 / 0
73

The Ugly Mediterranean

he visits Cyprus to investigate bird-trapping for leisure and profit (used in cuisine); some of his friends are attacked in the process. sad but i didn't really care tbh

1 / 0
73

The Ugly Mediterranean

he visits Cyprus to investigate bird-trapping for leisure and profit (used in cuisine); some of his friends are attacked in the process. sad but i didn't really care tbh

1 / 0
111

The Corn King
on Donald Antrim's The Hundred Brothers

a positive review of weird book about 100 brothers who live together. unreliable narrator. very weird.

0 / 0
111

The Corn King
on Donald Antrim's The Hundred Brothers

a positive review of weird book about 100 brothers who live together. unreliable narrator. very weird.

0 / 0
119

On Autobiographical Fiction
lecture

addressing four questions he's often asked

  1. who are your influences: dumb cus only young writers have direct influences; once you get older they kind of meld together. mentions Harold Bloom's theory of influence. plus it's always hard to tell who your influences are--there are books you like, but there are also the great books you don't think of but probably learned something from anyway. plus it's not static--you keep reading even as you write, and you're constantly influenced by things you read. his personal influences (when younger) include CS Lewis, Asimov, Fitzhugh, Marcuse, Wodehouse, Karl Kraus, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, DeLillo, Coover, Pynchon. Kafka was a bigger influence, The Trial especially (detailed in section247 and a coming note).
  2. what time of day do you write etc (on a computer, every morning)
  3. do your characters ever take over (not really)
  4. is your fiction autobiographical (to some degree yeah, but it can't be purely otherwise it's not worth writing)

he talks a little more about his marriage and how it was constraining him, and how he needed to quit that before he could write well (and how his characters were heavily influenced by his personal situation at the time). also that he writes characters based on people he knows IRL but they're not offended cus they have their own lives

0 / 2
119

On Autobiographical Fiction
lecture

addressing four questions he's often asked

  1. who are your influences: dumb cus only young writers have direct influences; once you get older they kind of meld together. mentions Harold Bloom's theory of influence. plus it's always hard to tell who your influences are--there are books you like, but there are also the great books you don't think of but probably learned something from anyway. plus it's not static--you keep reading even as you write, and you're constantly influenced by things you read. his personal influences (when younger) include CS Lewis, Asimov, Fitzhugh, Marcuse, Wodehouse, Karl Kraus, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, DeLillo, Coover, Pynchon. Kafka was a bigger influence, The Trial especially (detailed in section247 and a coming note).
  2. what time of day do you write etc (on a computer, every morning)
  3. do your characters ever take over (not really)
  4. is your fiction autobiographical (to some degree yeah, but it can't be purely otherwise it's not worth writing)

he talks a little more about his marriage and how it was constraining him, and how he needed to quit that before he could write well (and how his characters were heavily influenced by his personal situation at the time). also that he writes characters based on people he knows IRL but they're not offended cus they have their own lives

0 / 2
141

I Just Called To Say I Love You

on the problems with phones and people saying "i love you" in public, and how his dad never said "i love you" aloud and maybe that's why he doesn't like it. also a bit about 9/11 and how people's perception of it was mostly through TV

0 / 2
141

I Just Called To Say I Love You

on the problems with phones and people saying "i love you" in public, and how his dad never said "i love you" aloud and maybe that's why he doesn't like it. also a bit about 9/11 and how people's perception of it was mostly through TV

0 / 2
161

David Foster Wallace
memorial service remarks, October 23, 2008

identical to section 298

DFW liking to be in control and how that played out in his final year. fiction as a way out of loneliness. infinite jest should have been called infinite sadness.

0 / 0
161

David Foster Wallace
memorial service remarks, October 23, 2008

identical to section 298

DFW liking to be in control and how that played out in his final year. fiction as a way out of loneliness. infinite jest should have been called infinite sadness.

0 / 0
169

The Chinese Puffin

he gets a toy puffin and tries to find out about its process of creation (factory in China). meets up with some birders in Shanghai. ruminates on environmental protection and general activism in China.

2 / 1
169

The Chinese Puffin

he gets a toy puffin and tries to find out about its process of creation (factory in China). meets up with some birders in Shanghai. ruminates on environmental protection and general activism in China.

2 / 1
213

On The Laughing Policeman

a short review of a Swedish book of mysteries that is a "journey through real-world ugliness toward the self-sufficient beauties of good police work" (218)

0 / 2
213

On The Laughing Policeman

a short review of a Swedish book of mysteries that is a "journey through real-world ugliness toward the self-sufficient beauties of good police work" (218)

0 / 2
219

Comma-Then

do not use comma-then; use "and" instead (or find another way)

0 / 0
219

Comma-Then

do not use comma-then; use "and" instead (or find another way)

0 / 0
225

Authentic but Horrible
on Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening

about the history of Spring Awakening (written by German playwright Frank Wedekind in 1890-91; reconceived as an overpraised and bastardised rock musical on Broadway in 2006). its original subtitle was "A Children's Tragedy" (which seems oxymoronic because tragedy is theoretically out of reach of children)

0 / 0
225

Authentic but Horrible
on Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening

about the history of Spring Awakening (written by German playwright Frank Wedekind in 1890-91; reconceived as an overpraised and bastardised rock musical on Broadway in 2006). its original subtitle was "A Children's Tragedy" (which seems oxymoronic because tragedy is theoretically out of reach of children)

0 / 0
237

Interview with New York State

god I hated the setup of this one. he's trying to interview the personified state of New York, but gets held up by her publicist + other orbiting figures. waste of time

0 / 0
237

Interview with New York State

god I hated the setup of this one. he's trying to interview the personified state of New York, but gets held up by her publicist + other orbiting figures. waste of time

0 / 0
263

Love Letters
encomium to James Purdy on the occasion of his receiving the Center for Fiction's Fadiman Award for Eustace Chisholm and the Works

very forgettable essay in praise of some novel

1 / 0
263

Love Letters
encomium to James Purdy on the occasion of his receiving the Center for Fiction's Fadiman Award for Eustace Chisholm and the Works

very forgettable essay in praise of some novel

1 / 0
271

Our Little Planet

on driving from Minneapolis to St Louis with his family as a child in 1969 (12 hours), at the same time as the moon landings

0 / 0
271

Our Little Planet

on driving from Minneapolis to St Louis with his family as a child in 1969 (12 hours), at the same time as the moon landings

0 / 0
277

The End of The Binge
on Dostoyevsky's The Gambler

a short essay on the book and what it says about addiction

0 / 1
277

The End of The Binge
on Dostoyevsky's The Gambler

a short essay on the book and what it says about addiction

0 / 1
283

What Makes You So Sure You're Not The Evil One Yourself?
on Alice Munro

Alice Munro as a great, underrated Canadian writer. why he thinks she's underrated: her stories are all about storytelling pleasure (short stories, no less) and not about civics or history or anything

0 / 2
283

What Makes You So Sure You're Not The Evil One Yourself?
on Alice Munro

Alice Munro as a great, underrated Canadian writer. why he thinks she's underrated: her stories are all about storytelling pleasure (short stories, no less) and not about civics or history or anything

0 / 2
297

Our Relations: A Brief History

this was a really weird short story about some brothers in a mansion. MC named Joseph, marries Georgina instead of Albertina, loses his brothers; not sure if this is supposed to be a reference I'm not getting or what (is it supposed to be about himself and his marriage and his brothers???)

0 / 0
297

Our Relations: A Brief History

this was a really weird short story about some brothers in a mansion. MC named Joseph, marries Georgina instead of Albertina, loses his brothers; not sure if this is supposed to be a reference I'm not getting or what (is it supposed to be about himself and his marriage and his brothers???)

0 / 0
303

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

a review of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson. about a 50s couple. biggest implication: harmony of society depends on harmony of households. captures the spirit of the 50s. very local and domestic, not existential. not exactly a convincing argument for reading the book

1 / 0
303

The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit

a review of The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit by Sloan Wilson. about a 50s couple. biggest implication: harmony of society depends on harmony of households. captures the spirit of the 50s. very local and domestic, not existential. not exactly a convincing argument for reading the book

1 / 0
311

No End To It
rereading Paula Fox's Desperate Characters

about a woman named Sophie who gets bitten by a cat. a book that Franzen read in 1991, fell in love with, and thinks is hugely underrated. the book itself doesn't sound worth reading to me but the last paragraph in this essay isn't that bad

0 / 1
311

No End To It
rereading Paula Fox's Desperate Characters

about a woman named Sophie who gets bitten by a cat. a book that Franzen read in 1991, fell in love with, and thinks is hugely underrated. the book itself doesn't sound worth reading to me but the last paragraph in this essay isn't that bad

0 / 1