when the new wing broke away from the old mansion

that’s the tile of a “short story about Europe and America” by Jonathan Franzen, in today’s Guardian. Here’s the opening
“Once there was a mansion in which there lived five brothers. The four oldest brothers, who had played and fought and survived the diseases of childhood together, lived comfortably in the beautifully furnished older wing of the mansion.
The fifth brother, Joseph, was much younger. By the time he came of age, there were no comfortable rooms left for him, and so he was given the raw rooms in the mansion’s newer wing. Joseph was a strange, solitary, somewhat frightening child, and although his brothers loved him, they were relieved to have him out of their hair.”
Read on.


2 Responses to “when the new wing broke away from the old mansion”

  1. Sugarkane Says:

    Ooooh! God, I wish I’d written that. I guess I’ll have to settle for my slight personal connection with Jonathan Franzen: he graduated from the same school as I did and he was a visiting professor while I was there. Thank you for that link.

  2. Katharine Houreld Says:

    Interesting parable, but a bit misleading. You can’t represent millions of people with one confused little rich kid with an overactive libido. Where were Joseph’s balls when Georgina’s parents and lawyers turned up – if he was man enough to fool around in the back of an SUV than he should have been man enough to see them off with a shotgun. How many of the protestors in San Francisco and New York bothered to vote in the last election? How can we expect Iraqis to fight for their freedom against Saddam’s guns if we cannot defend ours by marking a bit of paper with an X? Less of the fashionable moral posturing please people (Charlie Sheen with a cross? Please!). Hit Bush and Blair where it will hurt them – in the ballot box and wallets.

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