Moshin Hamid: “Are the New ‘Golden Age’ TV Shows the New Novels?” (New York Times, 25 February 2014)

Television is not the new novel. Television is the old novel.

In the future, novelists need not abandon plot and character, but would do well to bear in mind the novel’s weirdness. At this point in our technological evolution, to read a novel is to engage in probably the second-largest single act of pleasure-based data transfer that can take place between two human beings, exceeded only by sex. Novels are characterized by their intimacy, which is extreme, by their scale, which is vast, and by their form, which is linguistic and synesthetic. The novel is a kinky beast…

…Sufis tell of two paths to transcendence: One is to look out at the universe and see yourself, the other is to look within yourself and see the universe. Their destinations may converge, but television and the novel travel in opposite directions.

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