Moretti’s Ever-Changing Novel

As separate as they sometimes may appear, scientific reasoning and literature’s paths cross occasionally, creating this selection by Moretti. He argues that the novel has changed its role in literature since the 1700s. What used to sweep a continent by storm and have lasting cultural impact has now metamorphosed into a revenue-generating machine, “A new novel per week, by contrast, is already the great capitalist oxymoron of the regular novelty: the unexpected that is produced with such efficiency and punctuality that readers become unable to do without it.” Moretti even goes to such lengths to compare it to the film industry and its reputation for watered-down writing, “—novels make readers lazy, stupid, dissolute, insane, insubordinate: exactly like films two centuries later—.”

The author makes a legitimate claim in this piece. Even over the past 5 years, I have noticed the “here and gone” fanaticism that comes hand in hand with a new novel. However, this is not the case for all new fiction. Some novels quietly fade into the background, only to make it to the shelves for a quick stay. The real issue with this phenomenon is how the human race changes its preferred form of communication almost constantly. I believe the social aspect of reading has dramatically changed how and why people read, and that will continue to shift as long as humanity continues to share information.

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