Being There

by Jerzy Kosinski

Being

 

Kosinski published this amusing dissection of pop culture’s influence on American life in 1971, back when remote controls and TVs in limousines were considered state-of-the-art luxuries.  But there is nothing dated about Kosinski’s novella Being There, which chronicles the fallout when a simple-minded gardener’s simple-minded pronouncements – many of them influenced by what he sees on television – are repeatedly mistaken for philosophical genius.

You have to wonder what the Polish-American Kosinski would make of “reality TV” in today’s world.  Chance the gardener, the author’s blank-slate antihero, would probably feel right at home on Big Brother.

 

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