GRE Reading Comprehension

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Source: Magoosh reading easy

Writers are necessarily ambivalent about any kind of recognition—honors, prizes, simple praise—because they are ambivalent about their relationship to the present. The first audience that a writer wants to please is the past—the dead writers who led him to want to write in the first place. Forced to admit that this is impossible, he displaces his hope onto the future, the posterity whose judgment he will never know. That leaves the present as the only audible judge of his work; but the present is made up of precisely the people whom the writer cannot live among, which is why he subtracts himself from the actual world in order to deposit a version of himself in his writing. The approbation of the living is thus meaningful to a writer only insofar as he can convince himself that it is a proxy for the approbation of the past or the future—insofar as it becomes metaphorical.

Question List: 1

The author of the passage believes that writers are ambivalent to recognition because it is

  • A rarely commensurate to the way in which posterity will regard a writer's work
  • B only of consequence in the future, yet an author will never know what the future thinks of his or her work
  • C typically bestowed in the present, whereas a writer is more concerned with approbation from the past and the future
  • D unfairly meted out to those who possess only a modicum of talent
  • E mostly unrelated to the quality of a writer's prose

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