Magazine November 2, 2015, Issue

The iFranzen

Purity: A Novel, by Jonathan Franzen (Farrar, Straus, 576 pp., $28)

The publication of a new Jonathan Franzen novel has a lot in common with the release of a new iPhone: Both early-autumn events are greeted with absurd amounts of anticipation, excitement, and derision, along with much commentary, and analysis of the commentary, etc. To be sure, there are other important novelists working today, and likewise various sorts of whiz-bang smartphones, but only Franzen and the iPhone dominate conversations in this manner, and with good reason: In both cases, even when a new release really doesn’t represent a dramatic advance on its hallowed predecessors, it’s still pretty impressive.

Following on Franzen’s most

Randy BoyagodaMr. Boyagoda, a novelist, is a professor of English at the University of Toronto, where he is also the principal of St. Michael’s College.

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

Boldly Go

A flurry of space movies has fluttered out of Hollywood over the past few years. Generally speaking, movies skew toward the trivial side of the news spectrum — but the ...

Features

Politics & Policy

Chairman Priebus

On a sunny Friday morning in January 2015, Reince Priebus stood inside the main ballroom of an elegant Southern California resort wearing a conqueror’s smile. The 42-year-old Wisconsinite, a placid-looking ...

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

The iFranzen

The publication of a new Jonathan Franzen novel has a lot in common with the release of a new iPhone: Both early-autumn events are greeted with absurd amounts of anticipation, ...

Sections

Politics & Policy

Letters

Lord Kelvin, Out of Context? Robert Zubrin (“The Human Factor,” September 21) may well be right to deny that global warming poses a risk of catastrophic problems. Part of his case ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ If Bernie Sanders is tired of hearing about Clinton scandals now, he should just wait till she’s president. ‐ Hillary Clinton came out against the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership), a trade ...
Athwart

New Lamps for Old

Next week’s shocking headline: Ben Carson Compares Bush-Era Energy Policy to Nazi Germany. How would that happen? Simple. Let’s back up a bit. A while ago I had an issue with ...
The Long View

Memorandum: CONFIDENTIAL

TO: POTUS FROM: MEDIA TEAM SUBJ: MANHOOD We’ve digested and analyzed the focus-group results from our weekend surveys, and have compiled those along with the results of our snap cellphone poll Sunday night. ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

SLUMBERING ORION As first light gently pulls the dawn across the earth, Supine Orion readies his bed for the dream of day, and Slumbers within sight of the tranquil Pleiades Now cloaked by the ...
Happy Warrior

The Napier Doctrine

Some of you probably know the story, but too many people don’t. So I will repeat it here. General Charles Napier was the British commander-in-chief of colonial India. His most ...

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