Directions: Over the last several decades, due in part to the ups and downs of the economics of publishing print books and in response to the rise of alternative and digital media, some scholars and journalists have wondered if “literature is dead.” This view has been expressed most simply through generalizations like “people don’t read books anymore” or “TV and digital media has made the consumption of stories too fast” for the reading and writing of traditional literature to compete successfully. Alternatively, scholars in the humanities might counter that while there have been many changes in how literature is produced and consumed in the last 30 -50 years, these changes are no more dramatic or detrimental than other significant changes such as the introduction of the printing press in the 17th century, or the rise of affordable mass print media (magazines and newspapers) in the 19th century. What do you think? In the 21st century, is “literature dead?” Or, to pose the question in the reverse, how is literature “alive” in the 21st century?
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