Talk:Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

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Concerning "Criticism"[edit]

Be it as it might, some up-in-their-cloud NY critics wrote not a lot of not-so-positive stuff about this book. However, this criticism section does not live up to the books qualities at all! Is WP a promotional platform for single minded critics and their personal rants? Anyone willing and able to draw or refer to an even remotely balanced picture? Please do! weekeepeer (talk) 10:42, 26 June 2011 (UTC)

Removed "That being said, very few other novels and feature films have dared to explore the psychological implications of the September 11th attacks on children and their families in a way that attempts-- even if not wholly successful, to reflect accurately the observations of mental health professionals such as psychologist Susan Coates and psychiatrist Daniel Schechter [1][2]". Sounds like personal observation, which may or may not be true, and nonetheless, the two mental health professionals meantioned have nothing to do with novels or novelists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:32, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

Oskar only wears white[edit]

We should add different viewpoints as to why he only decides to wear white. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 2 February 2009 (UTC)

Bad Entry[edit]

"By adding this dimension to the narrative, Foer layers an entirely different point of view on top of the of the first. An intriguing thought to ponder while reading this is why the father, upon reading his own father's horrific account of the events at Dresden (which included lines describing dismembered body parts lying in the streets and a horse engulfed in flames stampeding by) would still feel inclined to focus more on spotting flaws in the continuity of the writing rather than the personal meaning attached to the words themselves. It is a strange insight to the father's character.

This perhaps might seem a stretch, but through the father's red markings over the words, one can almost sense a shift in perspective towards Oskar's point of view as well. Since the total theme of this novel is Oskar's search for meaning through the tracking of clues left by his father, one can almost derive a feeling that when reading this passage, they are holding the pages in Oskar's hands. This "third" point of view, however, relies solely on the degree of imagination employed by the reader and is vastly open to interpretation."

This is prehaps the most pathetic entry I have ever read in Wikipedia. I simply removed it but, presto!, it is back. Why would the father correct the spelling mistakes rather than feel the emotion of the letter? The hack who wrote this seems to assume the father read the letter once, corrected the spelling mistakes, and never read it again. Since the letter is in the book some 20 years since the father recieved it it is perhaps possible he has read it more than once. Since it is the only contact his missing father ever made, perhaps he has read it many many times. And since we know when he skims over the newspaper, in particular the world news and war news, he corrects spelling mistakes, it obviously is a reflex action, one could easily say provides him some comfort. So, for pete's sake, the father corrected the spelling mistakes when he read it for the 50th time. Is this still a "strange insight" into the father? No, it was Foer's way of telling us, unlike all the other letters the grandfather writes that don't get mailed, THIS ONE DID.

And what on earth is the second paragraph I have quoted about? You really want wikipedia to have the words "One can almost derive a feeling that when reading this passage, they are holding the pages in Oskar's hands." If this was sourced, fine, as they saying goes Wikipedia is about citation, not truth. But a reader has written a, at best, bizarre interpretation of this book and it does not belong.

The book itself includes an ampersand ("&") instead of the word "and" in the title. Shouldn't the article be moved there? Tomsintown 19:45, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

Now you mention it, yes it should.DrDisco

There is no end to the spoiler section

I agree that this article completely fails the test for objectivity. It reads like a Sparknotes guide to the novel. Did Foer himself write this or just a passionate young devotee? Rewrite rewrite rewrite somebody please! I would do it myself but would rather not waste my time reading this book. Inoculatedcities 23:53, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Please separate spoiler and non-spoiler elements[edit]

Please separate spoiler and non-spoiler elements! I love the fact that Wikipedia warns the reader of "giving away" the endings of movies, etc. It is possible to review any movie without doing so. Also it's good to have the endings described for those who have seen it or don't mind knowing the ending before they see it. .GAY BOOK. My friend says I must see this movie. However, not having seen it, I don't want to read this article until the spoiler elements are separated and I can read the non-spoiler parts. Could someone who has seen it please take all the non-spoiler parts and put them above the spoiler warning? Korky Day 22:29, 12 January 2007 (UTC)

In response, please DO NOT do what was asked for above. Encyclopedic articles (or real criticism, as opposed to "reviews") should have no issue with revealing endings, or discussing them or their meaning. You may want a so called "spoiler alert" in TV Guide or People magazine, but not in an encyclopedia. Furthermore, knowing an ending shouldn't affect one's consumption of a novel, movie, play, etc if the work is well done. Not wanting to know an ending should only apply to the very limited genre of mysteries, say, but certainly not to literature. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:37, 19 November 2012 (UTC)
The comment you responded to is from 5 years ago. Don't worry, it's not going to be acted on. Qwyrxian (talk) 14:35, 19 November 2012 (UTC)

A connection between September 11th and the key?[edit]

The section titled "A connection between September 11th and the key" belongs in someone's grade 10 English essay. Someone should remove it. 02:15, 8 September 2007 (UTC)

Critical Reaction[edit]

Should probably be addressed. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:56, 18 December 2007 (UTC)

Absurd Acceleration[edit]

Unfortunately I've only got the German translation. Can anyone tell me if in the original version there are also some obvious mistakes, like: The elevators "reach speeds between 200 and 500 meters per second" (ca. 600 to 1600 ft/s)? Thats 1800 km/h (1118 miles/h), well above the speed of sound... Is only the German translation crap? -- (talk) 14:23, 5 September 2008 (UTC)

From the First Mariner Books edition on pg. 249 talking about the elevators in the Empire State Building. "They travel at speeds from 600 to 1,400 feet per minute."
Thanks! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:29, 1 November 2008 (UTC)

600 to 1400 ft/minute is 200 to 500 meters per MINUTE. It's more like 3 to 7 m/s, or 6 to 15 mph. So yeah, that's a bad translation. Преображенский (talk) 22:59, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

Removal of violations of WP:OR[edit]

I just removed three sections from the article: "Images in the story", "September 11 in the novel's plot", and "Similarities to Foer's first novel", plus some sentences from the lead. These sections contained no citations, and, as such appeared to constitute original research, which is directly forbidden by one of our five key policies, WP:OR. We may never, ourselves, interpret literary works, put them into historical context, or compare them to other books. We may certainly cite reliable sources that do so, summarizing them and rephrasing them, but we can't add our own interpretations. Qwyrxian (talk) 14:36, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

Or at least, wikipedia editors must pretend that summarizing, rephrasing, selecting citations, and organizing the page doesn't add an enormous amount of interpretation but limits it to the guise of objectivity. ...It will probably cause less arguments if I get that off my chest in a remote corner of the site like this one. And perhaps the rule is better than the alternative - hard to say. Edit: Just read your talk page, I have much the same position on truth and NPOV. (But am very much inclusionist, which is mostly why I don't edit.)Nagopaleen (talk) 00:17, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Aha, you know the secret. Of course there is interpretation and "original research" in the postmodern interpretive sense involved in summarizing, etc...but there isn't original research in a Wikipedia sense. The key is basically to understand that Wikipedia, like all other communities of practice (Fish, anyone?) has its own rules of practice, its own will to truth (or would you like some Foucault?), and it's all about working within those systems to produce a certain type of end product. Personally, I happen to agree that taking out paragraphs like the ones I removed make the encyclopedia "better" (in that it is more useful for readers, a better "style" of knowledge, etc.), but, in the end, it's all about following the system. Qwyrxian (talk) 10:47, 14 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, my disagreement lies with the rules of the system, which means I'm limited to making grumpy remarks on obscure talk pages. I and many others are very put off by our occasional attempts to edit wikipedia, which usually lead to reverts and/or a maze of "WP" citations that obviously grant the advantage to experienced editors (who can cite them with much greater ease and familiarity). But undoubtedly 'my' version of Wikipedia would put off others, so I must be content with using Wikipedia as an (excellent) resource rather than as a project I can contribute to as much as I would like.Nagopaleen (talk) 00:17, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Quotes that violate 'Wikipedia:No personal attacks' in which the violation is immaterial.[edit]

In Criticisms, foot note 3 and it's quote are invoked as mere criticism of the work. However, by quoting "Jews will be Jews, apparently", and without any specific implied or explicit reference to racial tensions anywhere in the article, it is out of place. More, the statement appears to violate 'Wikipedia:No personal attacks'. And so, it cannot be used as a valid criticism nor can it be logically referenced, as appears to be the case here, with the racial reference attached, as a valid criticism. So unless the article references the appropriateness and/or the nature of personal and racial attacks in the criticism of the author's work as material to the local topic, it would otherwise appear to be a way to shed responsibility for amplifying a heinous statement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Capricio (talkcontribs) 01:09, 19 July 2011 (UTC)

I have removed that sentence from the quotation. It might be appropriate, but, while we're discussing it, I think it's safer to leave it out. Like Capricio, I don't understand what that sentence adds to our understanding of the book, so I'm inclined to not include it. But other views are welcome. Qwyrxian (talk) 01:23, 19 July 2011 (UTC)


I have tagged this page as not being written from NPOV because while there was negative reaction to the book, there was also a lot of positive reaction, yet the article only mentions the negative. JDDJS (talk) 17:40, 27 September 2011 (UTC)

Thanks for the update. Do you have links to any of those reviews? Qwyrxian (talk) 01:54, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
I found one from the nytimes Kirn, Walter (2005-04-03). "'Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close': Everything Is Included". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-07.  and here's another [1] and [2] JDDJS (talk) 03:24, 28 September 2011 (UTC)
Neither the Birn nor Bukiet reviews is positive, quite the contrary. The other at PAJIBA is basically a blog entry.Samtha25 (talk) 01:09, 27 November 2011 (UTC)
The professional reviews were on the whole negative and the article reflects it. However it did get many awards/honors and positive public reception. I will add those for balance. Green Cardamom (talk) 05:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Original Research re: History of Love?[edit]

It seems that this section is not adequately supported by the article cited; all the New York Times article says is: "Speaking of which: the wunderkind writer whose themes and fancifulness most closely resemble Ms. Krauss's is Jonathan Safran Foer. His work would come to mind just as readily -- more readily -- if the two were not married. But while Mr. Foer's current Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close has a character playing Flight of the Bumblebee on the tambourine by its second page, The History of Love appears restrained by comparison." All this article supports is the fact that the two writers deal with similar themes and that they are, in fact married. Other than that, this is original research. I would like to remove this section. Objections? It also appears on the The History of Love page.--Roseclearfield (talk) 19:37, 2 March 2012 (UTC)

Maybe ?[edit]

Naive thought: Individually we shut ourselves away, touching more lives than imagined. (anonymous) (talk) 06:26, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

Removal of Anti-Semitic Screed[edit]

I have removed the Harry Siegel review as it reads more like an personal diatribe against the author and an anti-semitic rant than a book review. Here it is if you wish to comment:

Harry Siegel, writing in New York Press, bluntly titled his review of the book "Extremely Cloying & Incredibly False: Why the author of Everything Is Illuminated is a fraud and a hack", seeing Foer as an opportunist taking advantage of 9/11 "to make things important, to get paid" while also adding "The writers who make it get treated as symbols. Whitehead gets compared to Ellison, because they're both black; Lethem writes a book about race invisibility, but since he's a white boy, no one thinks to mention Ellison. In the same vein, Foer is supposed to be our new Philip Roth, though his fortune-cookie syllogisms and pointless illustrations and typographical tricks don't at all match up to or much resemble Roth even at his most inane. But Jews will be Jews, apparently."[3]

Davidkevin (talk) 07:39, 15 October 2012 (UTC)

Well, the link is dead, so I can't see the original to figure out the context. However, I can also see leaving it out because I'm not sure that reviews in the New York Press really count as notable reviews. Qwyrxian (talk) 22:46, 15 October 2012 (UTC)


"[she] wasn't completely honest with [Oskar], and [she] think[s] that [she] might be able to help"

This is a pretty ugly quote! It would be obvious, from the preceding sentence, what the quote means without having 5 pairs of square brackets in one sentence. Someone should please change it back to the original quote. I could do it myself though I don't have the actual book. It's pretty obvious what it should be, but better someone with the book puts the proper quote in. (talk) 15:33, 13 September 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ Coates, S., & Schechter, D. (2004). Preschoolers' traumatic stress post-9/11: relational and developmental perspectives. Psychiatr Clin North Am, 27(3), 473-489.
  2. ^ Coates, S.W., Rosenthal, J., Schechter, D.S. (2003). September 11: Trauma and Human Bonds. New York: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  3. ^ ""Extremely Cloying and Incredibly False: Why the Author of Everything Is Illuminated is a Fraud and a Hack" by Harry Siegel". New York Press. Undated. Retrieved 2010-08-14.  Check date values in: |date= (help)