Biography of oprah winfrey essay

Oprah, winfrey and the Glamour of, misery: An, essay


biography of oprah winfrey essay

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He tries to respond to the whole to-do diplomatically, but every olive branch he extends winds up thorny and splintered. Oprah Winfrey, meanwhile, doesn't even bother commenting - and, amazingly, almost no one dares even hint that she may have done something wrong as well. For whatever reason - presumably because he is deeply insecure as an artist - jonathan Franzen felt "conflicted" about appearing on Oprah Winfrey's television show. He was even honest and forthright enough to make his feelings known - something for which he should be commended, not chastised. However, for someone who works with words, Franzen was remarkably careless and inept in how he expressed himself. Indeed, the defining characteristic of practically all his statements on the matter was (and continues to be) their ambiguity. As a so-called artist, Franzen apparently seeks approval from a specific audience - an "intellectual" audience.

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Content is nothing, image everything. There was no reason not to summary keep The corrections as an Oprah's book club selection - and to have a show about. The book did nothing to offend her or her audience. The book did not suddenly become less valuable or less interesting because its author proved not to be very tactful. Her audience still had just as much to gain from it and a discussion. The show-format Oprah essay traditionally adheres to would have had to be altered somewhat, but there is no reason to think that a fruitful discussion would not have ensued. But apparently that was not at all what Oprah had (and has) in mind. return to top of the page - conclusion: The Franzen-Oprah fracas makes for good entertainment. Pretentious author versus populist talk-show host: a match made in heaven. It has unfolded nicely, too, as author Franzen continues to shove foot after foot in his mouth, without ever clarifying his position.

To shy away from that so completely is to ignore the power of literature (and of Franzen's book blunting its impact so that it is, indeed, seen as little more than harmless entertainment. (One of the most disappointing things about American celebrity talk-shows - the whole gamut from the tonight Show with jay leno through Oprah through Charlie rose - is their non-confrontational (or even anti-confrontational) approach. No critical stance is ever taken, no actor is ever asked why his or her new movie is so poor, no author why they write such tripe, etc.) Disinviting Franzen was, perhaps, excusable - and perhaps not even such a great loss. All indications from his media appearances are that he is not very good at expressing himself well vietnamese under such circumstances - and usually what authors have to say about their books isn't really that interesting or informative anyway. But Oprah didn't just disinvite him: she threw out the baby with the bath water. Amazingly, she even said that Franzen would not appear because he "is seemingly uncomfortable and conflicted about being chosen as an Oprah's book club selection". Funny - we had thought a book had been selected, and there she was telling us it was an author that was selected. Indeed, Oprah sadly shows that for her, too, it really isn't about the book at all. The book is only a prop.

biography of oprah winfrey essay

Biography and Personal Life of, oprah, winfrey

More significantly: by having Franzen on the show she could have raised these issues and taken him to task. But constructive (or at least revelatory) argument isn't what Oprah wants; all she apparently wants is a nice sit-down dinner without any air of dissent. Oprah stated: "It is never my intention to make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone conflict." That is, in a way, nice. But art challenges conventions. Art calls things into question. Art stirs things up and makes us uncomfortable. Art thrives on conflict.

It is never my intention to make anyone uncomfortable or cause anyone conflict. It is a curious (and presumptive) way of disinviting someone, as if Franzen himself declined to appear. However "uncomfortable and conflicted" Franzen might have been, he had jumped through all the Oprah-hoops and gone along with everything in preparing for the show. It appears that if it had been up to him, he would have gone through with. Oprah decided - well within her rights - otherwise. Oprah can, of course, do anything she wants on her show - and invite and disinvite anyone she wants, for any reason. Still, her decision seems unfortunate - and the way she did it hardly less tactful than many of Franzen's remarks. Franzen had made some injudicious remarks - about corporate logos and high art and the like, but mainly he had only raised questions about what it meant to be an Oprah selection (daring to suggest that it was not solely a boon). Oprah would have to be remarkably thin-skinned to be offended by these.

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biography of oprah winfrey essay

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We can't judge the general quality of the books she selects, but most hold little appeal. But remember: there are a lot of books out there, and so little reading time, and we, like most readers, have to be extremely selective in what titles we pick.) we were pleased to hear that marketing Oprah selected The corrections for her book club. We had been fairly impressed by the book (see our review ). It is a book that deserves to reach a large audience, and Oprah's seal of approval meant that it might reach an audience that otherwise might have shied away from it because it (and its author) seemed a bit too literary, a bit too heavy. Oprah was enthusiastic in endorsing the book, franzen less so in accepting his good fortune.

He said he considered turning down the invitation, and he continued to express some reservations. Nevertheless, he accepted, and went along with the pre-show preparations. It was Oprah then that decided she had enough: barely a month after making her selection, jonathan Franzen was disinvited from appearing on her show and The corrections left in Oprah book club limbo. (It was not de-selected and stricken from the rolls, but it was ignored, as Oprah announced: "We have decided to skip the dinner and we're moving on to the next book. Oprah's announcement stated Jonathan Franzen will not be on The Oprah Winfrey show because he is seemingly uncomfortable and conflicted about being chosen as an Oprah's book club selection.

You'll find few more fervent reading enthusiasts than the complete review, but the benefits of reading bad books - full of misinformed writing, full of bad writing, etc. Similarly, reading much popular literature strikes us as in no way superior to watching much popular television: it is merely a different sort of pastime. Good books are a different matter - but there is little differentiation between good and bad, thoughtful and lazy, thorough and misleading in how books are considered nowadays. Getting people to pick up books is good for the publishing industry, but what is really necessary is to get people to read - critically, thoughtfully, carefully. Oprah's book club does try engage readers in some discussion of the texts she considers - but generally only to a limited extent, and too often with a rah-rah enthusiasm that doesn't allow for critical consideration of the books.) we also find the notion. Still: most people stopped doing that after leaving school (though people do get together in smaller-scale book clubs for the same thing).


Is this large-scale read-along idea a chicago thing (cf. The ambitious One book one Chicago programme)? (At this point we at the complete review should probably make our own opinion of and attitude regarding Oprah and her undertakings clear. We are familiar with Oprah's talk show and have seen a number of episodes, including book club-episodes. We have not found ourselves particularly impressed by any aspect of the show (in particular: the subjects covered and the way they are covered beyond the superficial professionalism of the presentation of the show. We have not found the way she presents her book club titles or the information provided in these episodes of much interest or use. (It's not how we approach books - but if people respond to what she does we don't have too much of a problem with that.) Only a few show-topics or guests could motivate us to tune in to the show - maybe three or four. (In other words: we aren't representative of Oprah's audience - since we generally aren't part of Oprah's audience.) As to Oprah's book club: it appears that - besides Franzen's book - we have read only two of the titles she has featured (to date).

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More significantly, oprah seems to be attracted to a shortage certain type of book, telling a certain type of story. As Franzen famously said: "she's picked enough schmaltzy, one dimensional ones" - though, curiously, he doesn't name names. the corrections - as a saga of a troubled family - fits part of the Oprah-model very well, so it certainly isn't a choice that stands that far apart from any of her previous ones.). The limitations of her selections do have consequences, as publishers for example focus on books that they believe might fit the Oprah-profile (knowing that hitting the jackpot - by being selected - makes up for a great number of failures) while not paying as much. Oprah's audience, too, may be getting short-changed in being presented so many titles that follow a similar arc, rather than being introduced to the true riches of the literary experience - though this may arguably be outweighed by their at least being pushed to read. (Reading has an incredibly good reputation; it is considered to be per se a commendable activity. Why this is is not completely clear.

biography of oprah winfrey essay

(Curiously, he does not say that it means the book will reach a larger audience (though one might generously read that into his awkward statement about increased sales) or that more people will be exposed to his brilliant work.). Because - one assumes - of Oprah's great power, few in the publishing industry are willing to express even the slightest reservations about Oprah's incredible power, or her selections. There are the occasional snide remarks about her choices, and even a critical article now and then (see for and example cynthia crossen's piece in the, wall Street journal - and then, for example, a defense of Oprah at Holt Unlimited but by and large most. Oprah's book club does raise at least some questions, however. For example: a number of commentators suggested, apparently in all seriousness, that Franzen's chances of being awarded the national book award for Fiction were low, because the award-judges would not want to alienate Oprah Winfrey (whom they had honored a few years earlier for her. Oprah's power (and potential vindictiveness) were believed to be so significant that they might trump questions of literary merit. The committee was not swayed (or not sufficiently swayed) - franzen's book won the award - but the fact that industry observers and commentators thought it might be a factor in the selection of the prize-winning book is disturbing.

sold exceptionally well is instantly lifted to bestsellerdom. (In the United States, for works of fiction, no prize can claim to be anywhere near as influential in boosting sales - sales. The corrections barely budged after it won the supposedly prestigious National book award, for example. As prime movers of works of fiction the French have the goncourt, the Brits have the booker, the Americans have oprah. Draw your own conclusion. franzen was well aware of what it meant for his book to be chosen by Oprah. He is"d in, the Oregonian as saying: What this means for us is that she's bumped the sales up to another level and gotten the book into wal-Mart and Costco and places like that. It means a lot more money for me and my publisher.

Author : 0 All : take part! Name : E-mail : Topic : Hobby : Any and YachtsdivingWater skiingWindsurfingCanoeing jumpingBangee text : Check picture. The talk Show Host (Oprah Oprah Winfrey has a - and is best known for her - popular television talk show. Each episode reaches a larger audience than practically any best-selling book reaches in a year. Her book club segment - a monthly one at first, but only semi-monthly by friendship 2001 -, devoted to a single work of fiction, is - to judge by the response to it - a popular part of her show. (In early April 2002, however, Oprah announced that her book club would no longer continue as before, and that she would only occasionally (rather than regularly) devote precious tv time to mere works of fiction.). Oprah's book club is - make that: was - one of the rare instances of any significant time on any popular television programme in the United States being devoted to literature in any form.

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Biography of oprah winfrey essay
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Winfrey was born on January 29, 1954. She was named Orp. The talk Show Host (.

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