Extremely Sentimental and Incredibly Useful

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At Electric Literature, Manuel Betancourt argues that there is value to the “cheap sentimentality” in Jonathan Safran Foer’s Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and its film adaptation:

What cheap sentimentality can do is to short-circuit our connection to the depths of our emotions, precisely by making us feel that they are closer to the surface than we’re perhaps comfortable with. In instances where the emotional manipulation is so obvious—as I will admit it is in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close—our tears can feel like they have less to do with the narrative at hand than with things deep inside or even wholly outside ourselves.


Jake Slovis earned his MFA in Writing from Rutgers University, where he now teaches English Composition. He is a second-generation Argentine American and has spent significant time living and writing in Buenos Aires. He currently resides in Brooklyn. More from this author →