Explain if you think american literature is getting better or worse, do you think your answer is more optimistic or pessimistic or neither?

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There are some good points made above. My answer would have to be that in some ways, there is simply a lot more being published than, say, one hundred years ago. There are more people that are targeted when books are being published. While at the beginning of the last century perhaps...

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There are some good points made above. My answer would have to be that in some ways, there is simply a lot more being published than, say, one hundred years ago. There are more people that are targeted when books are being published. While at the beginning of the last century perhaps only the best of the best were published in a form that survives now, today more of the good and bad show up in print. My main point is that the good is still out there, but the not-so-good is what gets the publicity. Twilight, for example, which my 14-year-old calls "annoying, because the main character has no personality." It is not well written; on the other hand, it has a big chunk of the adolescent population practicing reading. Keep your fingers crossed that this translates into adults who read.

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Indeed, the previous post made some excellent points.  The notion of "L"iterature has undergone some level of change and might have reached a point with its commercial appeal which is a challenge.  I would like to suggest that American Literature might be getting better on one point in ensuring that more voices are heard in the discourse.  Comparing American literature from fifty years ago to now would reveal that the canon has increased in its multivocality.  Voices of people of color as well as women and divergent narratives of sexual orientation along with the experience of economics have increased.  The sensitivity to these conditions make the Literature of America more reflective of its realities.

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In my opinion, I think American literature is getting worse, because much of what is written is catered to an increasingly consumer oriented group. The bottom line is sales for many people. So, publishing companies are only producing what will sell and this is not necessarily good literature. So, while a book like Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code is fun to read, a person would hardly call this literature. In my opinion, American literature is getting to mixed with popular culture. So, I am more pessimistic. Also, the world is a big place and once we realize this, great literature can be recognized from all over the world.

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