I haven’t posted in a while, due to other, non-Germanic obligations (and sheer mental exhaustion) but there is one thing that has been troubling me that I feel I would be remiss not to point out.
Franzenfreude, as a word (and a concept) is completely misused.
Per Jennifer Weiner, its inventress: “Schadenfreude is taking pleasure in the pain of others. Franzenfreude is taking pain in the multiple and copious reviews being showered on Jonathan Franzen.”
Okay, lady, but “Freude” actually means “joy.” So technically, Franzenfreude means “taking joy in Jonathan Franzen.” In the words of Inigo Montoya, I do not think that means what you think it means.
If you must hate Jonathan Franzen for the mere reason that he is Jonathan Franzen and receives a tremendous amount of critical accolades for being so (and may I point out, no other male writer is currently receiving said accolades in such tremendosity—which I know is not actually a word, despite being a lady writer), an apter term would be “Schadenfranzen” or even “Franzenangst.”
After all, the New York Times only covers authors who use compound German conceptual nouns correctly.
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