Last week, I called Franzen at his Manhattan home, and we talked about the future of the novel. Franzen has said in past interviews that he writes his novels specifically for today’s kinds of readers. He knows, when it comes to entertainment, that he’s up against DVRs and Angry Birds, and so he says he strives to write the kinds of pageturners that keep a reader fully captivated and engaged.
You will never create art by trying to beat mass culture on its own terms. And also “today’s kinds of readers” is incoherent. Franzen would have done better to say that he shoots for an audience that will net him a million sales and an Oprah appearance. At least then he’d be honest about writing for white, middle/upper-class people with a smattering of intelligence and lots of disposable income.
The Franzen citation came from this article.