literature | July 31, 2019

Surviving the Internet: Chuck Klosterman Speaks to GQ about Life in the Digital Age

When Chuck Klosterman first emerged into public consciousness, he was a cultural critic hailed for his funny, idiosyncratic, and prescient voice. But as social media has become more ubiquitous, it seems everyone on the Internet is now a “cultural critic” of sorts. In his GQ interview, Klosterman speaks openly about the realities of a digital world.  


Chuck Klosterman’s 11th book Raised in Captivity is a collection of stories marketed as “fictional nonfiction.” In their review of the book, TIME magazine wrote that the vignettes—each a “scrollable” length—feel like “a replication of the fractured way we are forced, in the age of technology, to mediate reality and attempt to understand the world around us.”

 

Klosterman echoes that sentiment in his recent interview with GQ: “If you drop a person into the desert, there is a hard reality. And we sort of live now in a mediated reality,” he told the magazine, noting that the advent of the Internet now means most of our reality is constructed.

 

The Internet today almost feels like an echo chamber; a cacophony of voices and opinions. “So often now, particularly with controversial stories, we act as though the controversial story is getting all the attention, but actually it's the reaction to it that's getting far more attraction,” he explains. “Somebody will say something in an interview, and thousands and thousands and thousands of people will react to it and make a new story.”

 

You can read Klosterman’s full interview here.

 

To book Chuck Klosterman for your next speaking event, contact a sales agent at The Lavin Agency.

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