Franzen on having a crush on someone

As a lover’s voice or hair or curving hip keeps triggering the need to stop everything and fuck, so Becky had a score of provocations that reliably sent Denise’s heart rate through the roof.

Jonathan Franzen: „The Corrections“, 2001 (p. 334)

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Franzen on physiology

In the morning the blood was crowded with commuters, the glucose peons, lactic and ureic sanitation workers, hemoglobinous deliverymen carrying loads of freshly brewed oxygen in their dented vans, the stern foremen like insulin, the enzymic middle managers and executive epinephrine, leukocyte cops and EMS workers, expensive consultants arriving in their pink and white and canary-yellow limos, everyone riding the aortal elevator and dispersing through the arteries.

Jonathan Franzen: „The Corrections“, 2001 (p. 290)

Franzen on the Nautical Problem

As the ship sliced open the black sea east of Nova Scotia, the horizontal faintly pitched, bow to stern, as if despite its great steel competence the ship were uneasy and could solve the problem of a liquid hill only by cutting through it quickly; as if its stability depended on such a glossing over of flotation’s terrors. […] By day the sea was blue surface and whitecaps, a realistic navigational challenge, and the problem could be overlooked. By night, though, the mind went forth and dove down through the yielding … nothingness on which the heavy steel ship traveled, and in every moving swell you saw a travesty of grids …

Jonathan Franzen: „The Corrections“, 2001 (p. 211)

Franzen on Men and Women

He was the only male professor in D—— history to have taught Theory of Feminism, and he understood how important it was for women not to equate “success” with “having a man” and “failure” with “lacking a man,” but he was a lonely straight male, and a lonely straight male had no equivalently forgiving Theory of Masculinism to help him out of this bind, this key to all misogynies: To feel as if he couldn’t survive without a woman made a man feel weak. And yet, without a woman in his life, a man lost the sense of agency and difference that, for better or worse, was the foundation of his manhood.

Jonathan Franzen: „The Corrections“, 2001 (p. 46)