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A Portent: The 1996 Charlie Rose Show with David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen and Mark Leyner

“Commercial entertainment, it’s efficiency, it’s sheer efficiency to deliver pleasure in large doses, changes peoples’ relationship to art & entertainment…I’d argue it changes us in deeper ways than that.”

One of several intriguing thoughts on the audience “raised on television” by David Foster Wallace & co on the Charlie Rose Show in 1996. 

Leyner, on people formerly reading while they wait, but now there are televisions in even in places like airports: “Now we’re experiencing people who never experience any down time in their life.”

Rose asks about Infinite Jest…that it is “complicated and long, even compared to the internet” (12:40)

DFW finds avant garde fiction “hellaciously unfun.” He’s writing the books he wants to read. It’s written for fellow academics. He feels “more strongly about that than he does about TV.”

Franzen’s up to the moment thoughts on life, with a little on tech were covered by the NY Times Magazine in June.

Watching this I was struck what a shame it is that Wallace is not around to have this discussion after a generation raised on social media.

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