A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments - Pages 41-83 Summary & Analysis

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Pages 41-83 Summary and Analysis

Wallace continues that postmodern fiction is distinctive in part because it uses multiple pop-cultural references. Wallace believes these references work because while everyone recognizes them everyone is also somewhat uncomfortable with them. Furthermore, pop culture references are now necessary for a work to be realistic. Wallace describes an argument in one of his graduate seminars between the professor who believes works of art should not make reference to specific time periods, but the students find this position incoherent because all works must be situated in a certain time. Wallace defends contemporary literature from the charge that the dialogue is often unimportant by pointing out that if everyone is watching six hours of television a day, very little of substance is being said. Wallace gives examples of contemporary works that not only reference pop culture but make the consumption of...

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