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An Open Letter to Jonathan Franzen

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(Note: I list this in satire, though it’s not totally satire but it’s not meant to be taken very seriously either.)

Dear Jon, (can I call you Jon?)

Jesus. This is hard for me to do.

Ok.

I love you. Well, that might be pushing it a tad. Remember when I said I would never read you, never like you, and refuse to fall into the Cult of Franzen? Ha ha ha. I’m sorry. I do take it back now. I tried to resist as much as I could.

Yeah, the first essay in How To Be Alone did it for me. But so did your essay on privacy. Sure, you’re a little pretentious at times, but so am I. Look, we’re a match made in heaven.

You can be honest with me, darling. You don’t really need those black-rimmed glasses you hide behind, do you? I have to admit, however, they do look wonderful on you. Will you admit you’re trying a little too hard to look like the Disheveled Writer? Oh, what am I saying!? I love your author photo on the back of your book. You have that scruffy, impatient look like the photographer has just rudely interrupted your afternoon of writing to take your photo and the look on your face says, “Come on, hurry up. I got another best-selling novel to write!”

Last night I was reading your essay, “Why Bother?” and I saw this:

Today’s Baudelaires are hip-hop artists

What? Why are you doing this to me, dear Jon? As much as I love you and wish to grovel at your feet in old-fashioned disciple style, I had to put the book down and go to bed after I read this because you broke my heart. MY HEART! What are you doing giving the hip-hop artists of today such a compliment as calling them the Baudelaires of today? Did I miss something? Was this sarcasm that went over my head?? It wouldn’t be the first time, mind you. Darling, there are no Baudelaires today. None. The only person who comes close to this is Patti Smith, and even then, she’s more Rimbaud, you know?

Look, let’s forget all this writing and yapping and go grab a cognac somewhere where we can discuss the state of the world, Books We Will Never Read, and perhaps, if you’re in the mood and not too worn out from a day of writing, we could go get naked somewhere, just the two of us?

Forgive me for not believing all the talk about you before and for joining the party a bit late. But I’m sure you understand my reluctance in believing the masses. I mean, The Da Vinci Code? Surely you haven’t read this book and enjoyed it? Ah, I could forgive you for that blunder. Eventually.

P.S. Take me with a grain of salt, please.

Yours,
Jones M. Violet


You can read Jones Violet’s stuff at Stolen Pony.

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About Jennifer Best