Counterintuitively, to increase the beef quotient of an art or sport, you have to reduce the level of the actual conflict and skill in favor of the staged kind. That’s how you get from wrassling to professional wrestling. You have to head towards more mannered, stylized, genre forms of cultural production.
– which thrilled Trump, who would then say something to the effect of, “See! They’re very dishonest people.” Audiences would turn toward us, and boo and hiss, and even throw little bits of paper and other things our way. This was unpleasant, but it was hard not to see its effectiveness: he’d re-imagined the lifeless, poll-tested format of the stump speech, turning it into menacing, personal, WWE-style theater.
"What kind of meaning can fiction have in an age like this? What kind of purpose can it serve? In an age when reality is insufficiently real, how much reality can a fictional story possess?"
"In that sense, at the same time that fiction (story) is presently undergoing a severe test, it possesses an unprecedented opportunity. Of course fiction has always been assigned responsibility and questions to deal with in every age, but surely the responsibility and questions are especially great now. Story has a function that it alone can perform, and that is to “turn everything into a story.” To transform the things and events around us into the metaphor of the story form and to suggest the true nature of the situation in the dynamism of that substitution: that is story’s most important function."
"There has been an especially noteworthy change in the posture of European and American readers. Until now, my novels could be seen in 20th-century terms, that is, to be entering their minds through such doorways as “post-modernism” or “magic realism” or “Orientalism”; but from around the time that people welcomed the new century, they gradually began to remove the framework of such “isms” and accept the worlds of my stories more nearly as-is. I had a strong sense of this shift whenever I visited Europe and America. It seemed to me that people were accepting my stories in toto — stories that are chaotic in many cases, missing logicality at times, and in which the composition of reality has been rearranged."
When what we should be seeing is the network itself, in all of its complexity. And when I talk about the network, I mean the internet and us and the entire context, because the internet is only the latest but certainly the most advanced civilisation-scale tool for introspection our species has built thus far. To deal with the internet is to deal with this infinite library and all the inherent contradictions contained within it. Our categories, summaries and authorities are no longer merely insufficient; they’re literally incoherent.
Our current ways of thinking about the world can no more survive exposure to this totality of raw information than we can survive exposure to an atomic core.