Literature is Dying, Literary Theory is the Cure.

You don t hear much about it any more, but people used to wonder–say five years ago–whether technology was destroying our ability to think critically. More recently, we might ask whether the novel is dead. The best-selling genres today are the relatively shallow story plots of “romance novels” and young adult fiction. Henry James would go unread today, because one does not simply read Henry James. One must re-read Henry James before he can be understood, and read a third time before we know why he wrote this. Modern readers are apt to miss the fact that The Great Gatsby is a homosexual novel because they read it too literally. (Some critics note that though Gatsby is in love with Daisy, Nick s infatuation with Gatsby borders on homoeroticism.) Biographer, writer, and teacher Emily Toth noted that students often ask if Robert  Lebrun in The Awakening is homosexual (because Edna asks her husband if Robert was “gay” when they met), and are confused whether Robert and Edna or Alcee an


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