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Jonathan Franzen Criticizes Author Videos in New Author Video

Over at Farrar, Straus and Giroux’s new multimedia newsletter, Work in Progress, novelist Jonathan Franzen has recorded an author video that questions the idea of creating an author video in the first place.

Here’s an excerpt from the brief video: “This might be a good place for me to register my profound discomfort at having to make videos like this. To me, the point of a novel is to take you to a still place. You can multitask with a lot of things, but you can’t really multitask reading a book. You’re either reading a book or you’re not. To me, the world of books is the quiet alternative, an ever more desperately needed alternative. I understand that not everyone sees it that way; I understand that a lot of commerce happens online now–so I think it makes eminently good sense to be recording little videos like this.”

We at GalleyCat Reviews wonder: How do you review an author video? Franzen’s new novel Freedom has already generated a Vogue profile and a Time cover story. Last month, the new FSG newsletter featured a letter from the imprint’s archive, reminding us that late Susan Sontag was once a struggling author too.

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