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Jonathan Franzen and the Romance of Community

Blanco Hidalga, Jesús

Bloomsbury Academic



Despite the success and significance of Jonathan Franzen's fiction, his work has received relatively little scholarly attention. Aiming to fill this conspicuous gap, Jonathan Franzen and the Romance of Community analyzes each of Franzen's five novels in chronological order to reveal an interior logic animating his work.

Integrating various formal and ideological perspectives to illuminate Franzen's work, Jesús Blanco Hidalga demonstrates that the concepts of salvation and redemption, typical of romance narratives, run throughout Franzen's fiction. Even as he re-assesses and expands the familiar interpretations of Franzen's work, Blanco Hidalga shows how these salvation narratives are used for self-legitimization not only by the characters, but by the writer himself. Combining critical rigor with interpretative boldness, Jonathan Franzen and the Romance of Community offers a new theoretical approach to a major contemporary author.