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Jonathan Franzen
Missing the point of the reality of fiction
Missing the point of the reality of fiction

On the New York Review of Books blog, Tim Parks mourns the decline of fiction as a place to explore taboo and transgression in an age of oversharing and self-exposure. “Dickens lived 150 years ago,” Parks writes. “Society has changed. Taboo after taboo has fallen away. People can now boast about coming from humble origins. Homosexuality is no longer something to be hidden; there may even be social and commercial advantages to a writer’s ‘coming out.’ Love relationships and marriages are no longer conceived of as fortresses of propriety, such that every difficulty or infidelity must be strenuously denied. And in any event it’s becoming harder and...

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