The amusingly odd protagonist and narrator of Jean-Philippe Toussaint’s novel is an academic on sabbatical in Berlin to work on his book about Titian. With his research completed, all he has left to do is sit down and write. Unfortunately, he can’t decide how to refer to his subject—Titian, le Titien, Vecellio, Titian Vecellio—so instead he starts watching TV continuously, until one day he decides to renounce the most addictive of twentieth-century inventions.
As he spends his summer still not writing his book, he is haunted by television, from the video surveillance screens in a museum to a moment when it seems everyone in Berlin is tuned in to Baywatch.
One of Toussaint’s funniest antiheroes, the protagonist of Television turns daily occurrences into an entertaining reflection on society and the influence of television on our lives.