Here's a fun exercise: guess which of these four quotes about money and class are actually from the recent Jonathan Franzen profile in the Financial Times and which of these quotes I made up to make Jonathan Franzen sound bad.
1. Jonathan Franzen understands poverty:
“I am literally, in terms of my income, a 1 per center, yes,” he says, his eyes not on me but on the empty table next to us. “I spend my time connected to the poverty that’s fundamental to mankind, because I’m a fiction writer.”
2. Jonathan Franzen is poor in spirit:
“I’m a poor person who has money.”
3. Jonathan Franzen doesn't hire people to do his work for him, except for the people he hires to do work for him:
“I don’t like to hire people to do work that I can do,” he says. So that means he does his own dusting in the New York apartment he shares with his girlfriend? Franzen looks slightly shifty. “We do have a cleaner, although even that I feel some justification because we pay her way more than is standard and she’s a nice Filipino woman who we treat very well and we’re giving her work.”
4. Jonathan Franzen really has been known to do his own work every now and again:
“I repainted our guest room this summer in our rather small house in Santa Cruz... If I had hired someone, it would’ve been done better, and I was very sick of doing it by the end, and yet it seemed important. The first two coats I enjoyed and the third coat I was getting tired of it and the fourth coat was just sheer torture.”
Did you guess? Give up?