To say that Literature is dead is both empirically false and intuitively true. By most statistical indicators, the prognosis is good. There are more readers and writers than ever before. The rise of the internet marks the rise, in some senses, of a deeply literate culture. We are more likely to text each other than to talk. More than ever before, we are likely to comment or write than to watch or listen. The oft quoted fact: there are more graduates of writing programmes than there were people alive in Shakespeare’s London. As Gabriel Zaid writes in So Many Books, the exponential proliferation of authorship means that the number of published books will soon eclipse the human population, soon there will be more books than people who have ever lived. We have libraries on our phones, books (in or out of print) available at a touch of the finger. The mighty Amazon, the infinite Feed, the endless Aggregation, the Wikiwisdom, the Recommendations, Likes, Lists, Criticism, Commentary. We live in an unprecedented age of words.

And yet... in another sense, by a different standard, Literature is a corpse and cold at that...

Brilliant essay from Lars Iyer: A literary manifesto after the end of Literature and Manifestos in The White Review.

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