GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: PP2

In early-twentieth-century England, it was fashionable to claim that only a completely new style of writing could address a world undergoing unprecedented transformation—just as one literary critic recently claimed that only the new "aesthetic of exploratory excess" can address a world undergoing . . . well, you know. Yet in early-twentieth-century England, T. S. Eliot, a man fascinated by the "presence" of the past, wrote the most innovative poetry of his time. The lesson for today's literary community seems obvious: a reorientation toward tradition would benefit writers no less than readers. But if our writers and critics indeed respect the novel's rich tradition (as they claim to), then why do they disdain the urge to tell an exciting story?

Question List: 1 2

The author of the passage suggests that present-day readers would particularly benefit from which of the following changes on the part of present-day writers and critics?

  • A An increased focus on the importance of engaging the audience in a narrative
  • B Modernization of the traditional novelistic elements already familiar to readers
  • C Embracing aspects of fiction that are generally peripheral to the interest of readers
  • D A greater recognition of how the tradition of the novel has changed over time
  • E A better understanding of how certain poets such as Eliot have influenced fiction of the present time

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