Somewhere halfway through the novel, however, the opening from Kathryn Chetkovich’s great essay “Envy,” started to scroll through my. I want to bring up a essay called “Envy” by Kathryn Chetkovich, a piece about being in a relationship with Jonathan Franzen. She says. Kathryn Chetkovich Essay Envy aboriginal essay government self how do you write an essay about yourself do colleges actually read your essay research.

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Due to a violent death in my eny, I found myself unable to read or write for about five months. I was also robbed of the things that made up my identity, that gave me joy. I could sleep, loaded on booze and other drugs, and I could watch, blindly, endless movies.

That was about it.

On Envy, Unsatisfied Desire, and Not Waiting for Permission

Slowly, I attempted to read again, after the complete uninterest and the inability to concentrate faded slightly. I read two short stories, but I could barely remember them. Still, it was a start. This was heartening and the very beginning of some opening up in me. Then, I went on a vacation with my family to a tiny cabin in the Dominican Republic that we generally go to three times a year.

I read very little contemporary novels—contemporary short stories I do read—and for some reason I brought Freedomby Jonathan Franzen. I had maybe even loved them. And so, I read Freedom at the beach, on our shady porch, and then even in the car as we drove to the grocery store or the dusty tennis club owned by an Italian expatriate.

After finishing it, I found myself on the verge of tears. And then next day, and the day after. That was about it—three days of intermittently fighting back tears. How could these people do these things to each other? I felt anger, frustration, remorse.


Envy by Kathryn Chetkovich · Longform

And yet, I knew that they were, like all of us, doing the best that they could. I subscribed so that I chetkoovich re-read it—there was no way I would be able to find it on my bookshelves which seem to eat books rather than hold them.

Her name was Kathryn Chetkovich.

The essay was good—not really as self-pitying as I remembered it and I may be more sympathetic to humans than I was years ago ; indeed, it ended on a positive note. Of course, I now see that just reading, and obsessing, about these two writers, was a tiny hand up back to the planet of the living. So I bought her book of short stories, Friendly Fire. I googled her, too. Katgryn looked at the pictures of her, mostly black-and-white, like the author photo on her book, wearing glasses, arms crossed against her chest, maybe too dark lipstick in an effort to be less bookish-seeming?

In the photos, she has a presence of seriousness; I doubt anyone had ever mocked her for sounding stupid in her entire life. The stories were good. They often went somewhere slightly uncomfortable. But only one gutted its characters, skinned them and revealed the sorrow I was looking for. It shows how a father and a daughter can be so hard on one another, how a married couple can stay together even while, quite often, not wanting to be.


Here are some lines: He had always assumed that he was smarter than she was, but her flirtatiously uncommitted relationship with facts left her free to think of things he could not imagine. We get old, we get bewildered, nevy worse, demented.


Then, of course, we die, which is the most enraging thing of all. And that last quote made me think, painfully, of a passage from Casting Off by one of my all-time favorite writers, Elizabeth Jane Howard: The first time, after her grandson has a minor scare in the swimming pool and the daughter asks her if she and her sisters ever almost died. This is where Chetkovich gets her title. The details of a life, a long life, full of births and deaths and seasons and emotion and lust and regret.

With great regularity I walk down the streets of Brooklyn and as I pass person after person, I can only imagine how complicated and precious their lives are. I get floored by this exact thought probably about three times a month or so and sometimes more often.

I feel like, how can we have so much inside us and have built so much and yet still be so incredibly fragile, our lives so eny I felt less lonely just reading it.

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