Summary Of Once Upon A Time, Literature? Now What?

1021 Words 4 Pages
Salter Analysis
In James Salter’s essay, “Once upon a time, Literature. Now what?”, he explains how language and literature are essential components to society. He continues to highlight the importance of literature by stating how much knowledge can be shared through reading. In addition to this, Salter begins to highlight how changes in modern culture have negatively impacted literature. Similarly, he goes on to state that literature is becoming less and less popular especially to the masses. In Salter’s opinion this phenomenon is a disaster that should be addressed in order to preserve the timelessness of written works. Salter’s argument is ineffective due to his elitist tone, lack of credible examples, and numerous fallacies.
At the beginning
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He calls this phenomenon the “disaster” that is frequenting our society. As a result, he tries to persuade the reader into valuing literature as highly as he does. An example of this, can be seen when he states that he can not die without certain books or having published things he’s written. This takes away from his credibility as he is not objectively providing evidence for his claim. Likewise, he first introduces this “disaster” through quoting a fellow author, Virginia Woolf. However, he does not give any background on this author. This detracts from his credibility as he could be citing a random person or a person who is not necessarily a good source. In addition to this, Salter goes on to use a false analogy. He compares the “disaster” to Kazantzakis observation that the Apollonian crust had been broken and the Dionysian had poured forth. This is clearly a false analogy because a loss of appreciation in literature is not equivalent to the rational crust of the modern world has broken and chaos has poured …show more content…
He begins to lead us into this direction by defining culture as well as popular culture. As a result, he uses a false analogy to try and persuade the reader. This can clearly be seen when Salter compares Star Wars to the Trojan War in terms of their significance to future generations. This analogy fails to recognize that Star Wars and the Trojan War are completely unrelated as one is a fictional movie and the other is an actual historical occurrence. This causes the reader to feel that movies are more important compared to literature than they might actually be. In addition to this, Salter goes on to use a slippery slope to back his claim that the crowds or culture have the power to decide what is important. This is seen when Salter states that the future belongs to crowds, and this will cause extremes of poverty and wealth, isolation from the natural world as well as a new population that will live in hives of concrete and on a diet of film, television and the Internet. This is a slippery slope because the crowds may not cause these things to transpire. This further discredits Salter as his evidence is not strong which weakens his claim that popular culture is the the reason behind the loss of appreciation for

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