The Cubicle Life

Posted: June 11th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: DFW | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

In his long interview with David Foster Wallace, David Lipsky brings up the issue of the decreasing cultural relevance of books (in 1996, mind you). Wallace cuts right to the heart of the problem:

“Today’s person spends way more time in front of screens. In fluorescent-lit rooms, in cubicles, being on one end or the other of an electronic data transfer. And what is it to be human and alive and exercise your humanity in that kind of exchange? Versus fifty years ago when the big thing was, I don’t know what, havin’ a house and a garden and driving ten miles to your light industrial job. And living and dying in the same town that you’re in, and knowing what other towns looked like only from photographs and the occasional movie reel. I mean, there’s just so much that seems different, and the speed with which it gets different.  The trick, the trick for fiction it seems to me is gonna be to try to create a kind of texture and a language to show, to create enough mimesis to show that nothing’s really changed, I think. And that what’s always been important is still important.”

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