Feel Free: Essays Pdf Summary
From Zadie Smith, one of the most beloved authors of her generation, a new collection of essays Since she burst spectacularly into view with her debut novel almost two decades ago, Zadie Smith has established herself not just as one of the world’s preeminent fiction writers, but also a brilliant and singular essayist. She contributes regularly to The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books on a range of subjects, and each piece of hers is a literary event in its own right. Arranged into five sections–In the World, In the Audience, In the Gallery, On the Bookshelf, and Feel Free–this new collection poses questions we immediately recognize. What is The Social Network–and Facebook itself–really about? “It’s a cruel portrait of us: 500 million sentient people entrapped in the recent careless thoughts of a Harvard sophomore.” Why do we love libraries? “Well-run libraries are filled with people because what a good library offers cannot be easily found elsewhere: an indoor public space in which you do not have to buy anything in order to stay.” What will we tell our granddaughters about our collective failure to address global warming? “So I might say to her, look: the thing you have to appreciate is that we’d just been through a century of relativism and deconstruction, in which we were informed that most of our fondest-held principles were either uncertain or simple wishful thinking, and in many areas of our lives we had already been asked to accept that nothing is essential and everything changes–and this had taken the fight out of us somewhat.” Gathering in one place for the first time previously unpublished work, as well as already classic essays, such as, “Joy,” and, “Find Your Beach,” Feel Free offers a survey of important recent events in culture and politics, as well as Smith’s own life. Equally at home in the world of good books and bad politics, Brooklyn-born rappers and the work of Swiss novelists, she is by turns wry, heartfelt, indignant, and incisive–and never any less than perfect company. This is literary journalism at its zenith.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Meaning in a world seemingly devoid of it
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2018
The current cultural landscape is a wasteland littered with superheroes, fast cars, and enough visceral responses to elicit bar-fight-style brawls out in public.
It is refreshing then to read the essays in “Feel Free” as they feel like a cerebral rollercoaster, full of inverted perceptions on our current state of affairs as well as an in-depth look at things people take for granted.
Take for example her essay on Facebook titled “Generation Why.”
Smith compliments Zuckerberg for the achievement of developing one of the largest online communities, but she also points out some negative sides to Facebook. How some people use the social media platform in a solipsistic manner to confirm their own views of the world.
But the essays are not limited to commentary on our social interactions. One focuses on an interview with Jay-Z, and how Smith compares the rap superstar to “Paradise Lost” author John Milton. How both employ the power of boasting to further their artistic forms to reach the apex of their respective forms.
The one section which I could do without is her most lengthy set of essays in the collection, all under the header the Harper’s Columns. This is not to say these pieces are written poorly by any means. They are stylistically quite good, as is to be expected from Smith. No, they just feel out of place in the larger context of the collection.
While the other essays are concerned with social issues, cultural pieces, and experiences strolling through a garden, this small collection feels like a friend talking to you about a book you haven’t read or significant points in a movie you haven’t seen. There are no spoilers per se, just a bit of confusion if you haven’t read the books she is reviewing.
The essays are thoughtful and fun though. Readers will laugh from time-to-time, and they will also stop to ponder art, politics, and everything in between.
3.0 out of 5 stars Zadie Smith’s uneven musings
Reviewed in the United States on April 2, 2021
I love Zadie Smith’s novels and I think she is a wonderful writer. Having exhausted her novels, I turned to her essays.
Some of them are brilliant, and most of them are well- crafted pieces. I loved her acceptance speeches, in Germany and the Philip Roth speech in America. I loved her reminiscences about her family.
What lost my interest were the many magazine articles talking about authors I was unfamiliar with or art exhibits that I had never heard of, for which I certainly can’t blame the author. I found her juxtaposition of Justin Bieber with the late philosopher Martin Buber ridiculous, though I’m sure every time I read something of Buber’s work, which I do from time to time, I won’t be able to get Justin Bieber out of my mind.
I think I will wait anxiously for Zadie Smith’s next novel.
5.0 out of 5 stars just read Zadie Smith. now.
Reviewed in the United States on March 4, 2020
I first heard of Zadie Smith through her comments on fiction in the New York Review of books. Her insights and questions kept my attention and remained in my mind long after I put the article down. Of course, reading her essays, her body of work became the next “must do.” Zadie Smith is an author of masterful questions and discussions. Her writings are the friend you wish to discuss your ideas with. She is surprising, sensible, outrageous, purposeful. I can’t get enough of her work. Everything she publishes will be something I can’t wait to read.
About Zadie Smith Author Of Watch Feel Free: Essays Pdf Book
Zadie Smith is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, NW, and Swing Time, as well as two collections of essays, Changing My Mind and Feel Free. Zadie was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2002, and was listed as one of Granta’s 20 Best Young British Novelists in 2003 and again in 2013. White Teeth won multiple literary awards including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize, the Whitbread First Novel Award and the Guardian First Book Award. On Beauty was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and won the Orange Prize for Fiction, and NW was shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Zadie Smith is currently a tenured professor of fiction at New York University and a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Feel Free: Essays pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information
- ASIN : B073NNRSYV
- Publisher : Penguin Books; Reprint edition (February 6, 2018)
- Publication date : February 6, 2018
- Language : English
- File size : 10010 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 464 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #443,689 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #212 in Books & Reading Literary Criticism
- #609 in Popular Culture
- #625 in Essays (Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews: 4.5 out of 5 stars 310 ratings
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