Notes on Jonathan Franzen’s Purity

*sighs deeply*

I was not expecting to enjoy Purity, given Franzen’s general reputation, and my expectations were fulfilled. It is, like a depressing number of so-called Great American Novels by Important (male) Writers, populated by men who cannot look at women without coveting and/or being disgusted by them, and who we are nevertheless supposed to sympathise with. (In this case at least one of them is a raging sex predator.) It’s also casually ableist and subscribes to a view of the world that is fundamentally gender-essentialist: I personally find it hard to engage with novels that are primarily interested in “the battle of the sexes” because inevitably they treat perceived differences between men and women (there are never any non-binary people in these novels, or if there are they are treated as aberrations and novelties) as innate and unsurmountable, which…is very not my experience in my relationships with men, and very not how I think of gender either.

This was not, in other words, my cup of tea. No proper review as per my “I have no fucks to give” policy.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.