To be able to reach a state of total concentration means gaining the possibility of transcending boredom. It is unclear what this entails exactly, but Wallace perhaps had something mystical in mind.
That it is during the act of storytelling that Drinion's literal transcendence occurs is highly suggestive of the power of narrative to counteract boredom and thus transforms the Meredith-Drinion conversation into an allegory of the relationship between author and reader in The Pale King.
Klapp states in Overload and Boredom, a "social function of redundancy for continuity" since it "surround[s] us with familiar cues assuring us that things are, and will continue to be, what they seem; that people are known and reliable; that debts will be paid, money is good, and so on.
In fact, [section]25 becomes an instructive readerly allegory for understanding how the theme of boredom plays out in The Pale King, both formalistically and conceptually, and typifies Wallace's "aesthetic of boredom." It would not be difficult to argue for picking this section as a candidate for one of the "most boring" parts of the novel due to its double-columned reproduction of the tedium of IRS workers' daily tasks.
In a strange way, this mysticism returns us to the original theme of boredom when we consider how the novel treats one mystic in particular, Saint Anthony.
For Saint Anthony and the Desert Fathers, giving in to acedia, or boredom, was a sin; in the secular world of The Pale King, giving in to boredom is ultimately irresponsible and childish--but, in both cases, boredom is an ever-present temptation and succumbing to it is a choice.
Nevertheless, the careful consideration that the reader must give The Pale King, which is put to the test by Wallace's "aesthetics of boredom," is analogical to the attention that American citizens must pay toward civic duty and maintaining their freedoms.
Experience Without Qualities: Boredom and Modernity.
On the one hand, the idea of being bored with Meg taps into one of the primal fantasies of networked communication, namely, that networks bring people together; that they forge communities that might overspill the boundaries between online and off; and that they might thereby compensate for, or eliminate, feelings of boredom and loneliness that are commonplace amongst teens.
(35) As an affective experience held in common, boredom holds the potential to operate as a very powerful social glue, bringing a diverse audience of teenagers together and connecting them through the range of communicative interfaces that are associated with the MayBaby brand--from online discussion forums and social media platforms, to live appearances at which fans can mingle with each other, and meet Meg in person.
In this way, networked media platforms such as the MayBaby YouTube channel capitalise on both the 'wish for a desire' that Phillips argues is at stake in boredom, and on the desire for connection that many teenagers experience as a normal part of their everyday lives.
On a representational level, then, YouTube video tutorials such as these consolidate an affective grammar of twenty-first century boredom, which teaches teenage audiences to remain vigilant against signs of incipient boredom, and models appropriate and inappropriate ways of managing it.
Fisher's otherwise prescient account of boredom 2.0 falls short of engaging with the full implications of his own argument, perhaps because of the sense of nostalgia that his account conveys for a time when boredom was still commensurate with a (male) subject who could feel it, and who could in turn draw from it to 'produce something' of cultural value.
the boredom that is involved in endlessly scrolling through feeds and navigating a potentially infinite system of networked links --but also in capturing and modulating the subject's affective experience before he or she becomes aware of it.
As a result, the networked subject is faced with a double bind in which she is expected to manage feelings of boredom increasingly through the very same technical processes that produce and perpetuate them in the first place.