Literary Studies Can No Longer Explain Why People Appreciate Books

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From The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Old-school beliefs that exposure to literature is a guaranteed path to moral improvement and cultural refinement have fallen by the wayside. In a cultural climate increasingly fixated on vocational training, economic efficiency, and the importance of the bottom line, scholars of literature are wondering how to make a case for the value of what we do. How do we come up with rationales for reading and talking about books without lapsing back into the canon worship of the past?” …read more


Stephen Elliott is the author of seven books, including the memoir The Adderall Diaries and the novel Happy Baby. He is the founding editor of The Rumpus. His feature film debut, About Cherry, was distributed by IFC. His second movie, based on his novel Happy Baby, is forthcoming. More from this author →