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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Is Lit Dead?

Every time I begin teaching a Composition Class this question comes to me like a nagging pain. Is Lit Dead? And this comes from reading the opening to The Great Gatsby and having the students complain about the elevated language or the face that no one really reads literature anymore. And I don't teach Lit. I teach composition and so I am just skimming the surface but certainly my decision to bring blogging into Comp is based on the fact I blog quite a bit but also that Comp like so many other things has gone real time.

And Literature is anything but real time. The very opening of a novel lets us know that this story is happening somewhere in the hazy twilight of suspended time. Be it John Williams Stoner or Ishiguros Remains of the Day. The fact that old clocks are ticking somewhere in the room is evident in not only the pace but the viewpoint and of course the language. Literature is at heart a romantics language. There is something wonderfully tragic in the fact time has passed.

And yet in the year 2014 I wonder if this has a place. Certainly people still write literature but do they write it for those who expect literature to act like literature and what will happen when those people pass on. Will my bloggers rule the day with our real time commentary or will people year again for something not so in our reach?

Time will tell.

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Books by William Hazelgrove