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To play Devil's Advocate - I suspect some 'classic' literature only continues to be great because we're told it is. I'm not sure how much of it is read for pleasure at all, or how much would be labelled classic if it were discovered today. Even when it's read for pleasure, it's not necessarily read for depth. Jane Austen remains popular because she wrote early romcoms, not so much because she's quietly scathing, sarcastic and insightful.

The one constant in art history is changing taste. This century's renowned genius painters, composers and writers were last century's nobodies.

This makes obsessive scrabbling for posterity counterproductive. No one knows what the tastes of the next few centuries will be, or even if they'll have the same ideas about serious art that we do.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Fri Oct 3rd, 2008 at 08:13:40 AM EST
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