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Everything Must Go!

Andrew O’Hagan: American Beauties, 13 December 2001

The Corrections 
by Jonathan Franzen.
Fourth Estate, 568 pp., £17.99, November 2001, 1 84115 672 8
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Ghost World 
directed by Terry Zwigoff.
August 2001
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Storytelling 
directed by Todd Solondz.
November 2001
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... Today there are only second acts in American lives. No generation to find itself interestingly lost in Paris; no elegant tribe crowding the lawn with portents of disaster at Gatsby’s parties; no collective urge to write the great war novel; no second sex. To judge by the best of the new writing, the most urgent of the new films, the most-watched television, American lives are now devoted to a wholesale inhabitating of the dead afternoon ...

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