While I’m hung up writing something about Jonathan Franzen’s Freedom, occasionally remembering that I have a couple of months of movies backlogged, including, now, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby, here’s a quote relevant to both of those titles, from Daniel Handler in the New York Times Book Review this past Sunday:
“[C]alling a writer ‘Midwestern’ seems like a way to start up that familiar and imaginary battle between Plain Novels Full of People With Integrity and Dirty Fingernails versus Showoffy Books About People Having Martinis in Penthouses.”
That’s obviously relevant to Franzen, and also to Eugenides, both of whom offer up contrasts between humble men of the Midwest and more sophisticated Easterners, but also to F. Scott Fitzgerald.
(I’ve actually never read any Lemony Snicket. I guess I should remedy that.)