Sven Birkerts (essay date Fall 1983)
SOURCE: "Television: The Medium in the Mass Age," in Michigan Quarterly Review, Vol. XXII, No. 4, Fall, 1983, pp. 619-32.
[In the following essay, Birkerts ponders (he role of television in contemporary society, describing its "consciousness" with respect to the social implications of "watching" it.]
No one who has walked through the excavations at Herculaneum and Pompeii is likely to forget the oppressiveness of the experience, far outweighing its historical fascination or its cachet as future table talk. The dreariness of a George Segal sculpture has been multiplied a thousandfold: the heavy seal of Time has been impressed upon the ordinariness of daily life. We are...
(The entire section is 4699 words.)