David Foster Wallace interview with Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air (03/1997)

Q.
“I actually do not own a TV now, but that is not TV’s fault because if I own it, I will watch it. And you know, even when after an hour or so I’m not even enjoying watching it because I’m feeling guilty at how non-productive I’m being, except the feeling guilty then makes me anxious which I want to soothe by distracting myself so I’ll watch the TV even more. And it just gets — I don’t know — it just gets depressing. My own relationship to TV depresses me. It’s not TV per se. I do have a VCR so it’s not like I never watch a cathode ray screen.”

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Q.
“I was sick in bed one day and decided I would amuse myself by drawing up a list of all the things I thought would be neat to read or that I should’ve read and that I had not read. And by the time I was on the like twelfth page, I began to panic and to realize that I needed to start doing some reading and that if there was a TV in the room (I found out about a month later) I would simply: I mean, the game that I’ll play with myself is, ‘O, I’ll read it with the TV on,’ which is, which is just a farce. So I decided that I had too much to read to be able to own a TV.”

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