Tao Lin's 'Great American Dialogue' about 20 Under 40

“The dialogue will begin when b. 1983, in a moment of ‘vague, somewhat drug-induced, existential inattention,’ sort of waiting for two or three people to ‘text him back’ while not completely aware whose ‘turn’ it actually is to ‘text [someone] back,’ mostly only aware, sort of sleepily, though not ‘feeling sleepy,’ of not being aware of anything specific, nonsequiturly says ‘the New Yorker’s “20 under 40” list’ a little loudly and tonelessly, like a cough or sneeze, and while still saying it feels that ‘simply’ saying it will likely cause 5–15 minutes of ‘not interminable, moderately witty’ conversation and being correct: the conversation immediately quickening, becoming louder, more overlapped, the disconnect between literal/’delivered’ meanings re ‘words spoken’ suddenly larger, eyeballs sometimes sort of ‘darting around’ without exterior referents, phrases like ‘Keith Gessen,’ ‘Granta’s list,’ ‘David Remnick or whoever,’ ‘probably Karen Russell’ spoken at tones/volumes previously unused that night.”

    — Tao Lin, profiled in this week’s Observer, describes “The Great American Dialogue About The New Yorker‘s 2010 ‘20 Under 40‘ List ” for Canteen.