Jonathan Franzen

United States
Born on 17 Aug 1959
Novelist/Essayist

Quotes

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She knew that you could love somebody more than anything and still not love the person all that much, if you were busy with other things.

Freedom
Parents are programmed to want the best for their kids, regardless of what they get in return. That's what love is supposed to be like, right? But in fact, if you think about it, that's kind of a strange belief. Given what we know about the way people really are. Selfish and shortsighted and egotistical and needy.

Freedom
Success at sports is the province of the almost empty head.

Freedom
It's good to have friends in life. If you want to have friends, you have to remember that nobody's perfect.

Freedom
There are few things harder to imagine than other people’s conversations about yourself.

Freedom
And this of course, was the simplest definition of depression that he knew of: strongly disliking yourself.

Freedom
Serious fans always need to feel uniquely connected to the object of their fandom; they jealously guard those points of connection, however tiny or imaginary, that justify the feeling of uniqueness.

Freedom
Fiction is a particularly effective way for strangers to connect across time and distance.

Freedom
What he'd never understood about men in his position, in all the books he'd read and movies he'd seen about them, was clearer to him now: you couldn't keep expecting wholehearted love without, at some point, requiting it. There was no credit to be earned for simply being good.

Freedom
Each new thing he encountered in life impelled him in a direction that fully convinced him of its rightness, but then the next new thing loomed up and impelled him in the opposite direction, which also felt right. There was no controlling narrative: he seemed to himself a purely reactive pinball in a game whose only object was to stay alive for staying alive's sake.

Freedom
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On Anger: "For every minute you remain angry, you give up sixty seconds of peace of mind."
Essays
On Destiny: "Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today."
Human, All Too Human
On Friendship: "A crowd is not company; and faces are but a gallery of pictures; and talk but a tinkling cymbal, where there is no love."
Essays