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Now, now, Mr. O.L., didn't we talk about this self-critical bender that you seem to go on every now and then at our last session? Didn't we agree that the metnal anguish you put yourself through is merely a self-realization process?
You write (with wit) and self-deprecation about your life (imagined or not).
You then self-comment on the self-centered topics you write so well about, which is then followed by..
more writing on your keenly observed life (imagined or not).
Look, you're paying me by the hour, so if you want to go back to square 1 to rehash the hash that has been burned beyond recognition, who am I to protest? Two more kids to put through college..sure let's re-visit that topic one more time.

Yours, Dr. Lew DiCrass


I read the Franzen thing in bed a couple nights ago. It's essentially a latter day O. Henry story. Reasonably well handled, predictable twist at the end. It didn't keep me awake or creep into my dreams; I probably wouldn't have given it a second thought if you and James Tata hadn't brought it up.

I'm not sure whether it counts as "personal history" - probably - but I was impressed enough with Franzen's New Yorker piece on Charles Schulz last year to pass the issue on to a friend. Otherwise, I agree with Tata: JF's personal history, no thanks. His novels are good, better and Olympian, in that order, IMHO. The trend is in the right direction. Let him stick to the novel.

Thanks for steering me to Tata. I didn't know him.


I second that stern talking-to.


John Leonard had a similar reaction to "The Fortress of Solitude" -- enough about the pop culture you like, already!

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